By Philip Ang

In “S’poreans can & must do their best to help the poor: PM Lee” (CNA, June 16), PM Lee says the obvious, as if what he is telling us will make a difference.

He has glossed over the failings of the civil service and the PAP which has resulted in so many needy Singaporeans but he now wants more citizens to chip in.

While everyone already knows there will always be needy families in every society, the number of needy Singaporeans in clearly not acceptable.

In one of the highest cost of living countries in the world, 238,000 working Singaporeans take home less the $1,200 per month.  This barely covers basic necessities.  When 22.86 per cent of the work force take home less than $1,600 per month, PM Lee should be knocking the heads of civil servants and find out how the hell this came about.  Weren’t  PAP MPs also slumbering?

The long term solution is to fix our policy gaps which could be as wide as the Pacific Ocean.  A better suggestion would be for PM Lee to take the lead by putting aside 30 per cent of his income and also convince all PAP MPs to give up their MP allowance (which they don’t really need) to “express concern for fellow citizens”.

Talk is cheap.  Action speaks louder than words.

For fellow citizens who are unable to contribute financially, like me, we could express our concern through forum pages in the press. Or through online media, which is probably the right thing to do.

PM Lee also said that “Serving the community is more important in a world where income distributions are getting widened..”  I hope the government will not insist on including the assistance rendered by fellow Singaporeans to reflect a lower GINI coefficient.

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