20140126 PAP government must take care of needy Singaporeans, discard ‘milking sympathy’ model.

I refer to CNA’s article “$70 million needed to support kidney patients: NKF”. link

NKF has already hinted that it may resume TV fund-raisers in October last year. link The government appears to be setting the stage for the NKF show to go on.

The NKF charity show was an unproductive approach in fundraising. It has actually confirmed the government has abdicated its responsibility to look after needy Singaporeans. Why?

Our government has been running huge budget surpluses almost every year. Within a decade, our total tax collection has almost tripled from $16,595 billion for FY2002/2003 to $41,360 BILLION for FY 2012/2013.
link (see IRAS’ Collection by Tax Type)

The objective for collecting taxes is to raise resources for the provision of necessary infrastructures and wealth redistribution through various policies. The PAP government wholeheartedly provides $210 MILLION annually in tuition grants to thousands of foreign students. link But when it comes to 3,400 needy NKF patients, our money goes into the reserves for a god-knows-when rainy day.

PAP policies for Singaporeans – each generation must earn and save enough for its entire life cycle ie. be self reliant and for every damn thing there will be a co payment, levy, GST, COE, ERP, etc. For foreign students, they provide lock, stock and barrel – tuition fees, housing, flight and extra tuition for English and after graduation, PR with job guaranteed. There is clearly double standard at a huge expense to citizens.

Credit: dreamstime.com

For a citizen earning $1,000 a month, a $10 donation works out to 0.1 per cent of his pay. Do our leaders contribute a remotely similar amount or are they probably just talking the talk?

Singapore also has about 174,000 millionaires as of mid-2013 and this number has probably grown. link It appears not to be the norm for the rich to give back to society. Donations from the wealthy and corporations would have rendered all these waste-of-time charity shows unnecessary.

The objective of televised charity shows is to milk maximum sympathy (money) from the public and totally disregards the dignity of the needy. If society has any sense of giving back, people should not support regular fund raising through such means. Coupled with a mini lottery of sorts, this is again another one of our government’s short cuts. There are exceptions such as natural disasters and unforeseen circumstances.

Hundreds of thousands of man hours are spent on producing a single televised charity show. This is extremely unproductive. A documentary would have sufficed. The major beneficiaries of TV fund raisers appear to be our state telco, state media and actors/actresses.

In conclusion, funds for taking care of the needy already existed in the form of taxes collected. The government has abdicated its responsibility of taking care of the IMMEDIATE medical needs of citizens by locking up budget surpluses in the reserves. Precious limited resources are expanded and private sector salaries are paid to raise funds in a most unproductive manner to get a job done, one which the government is supposed to do.

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