Elderly working at hawker centers

Speaking in Parliament yesterday (26 Feb), Nominated Member of Parliament Arasu Duraisamy said that many elderly Singaporean workers had told him that they are not ready to retire.

Mr Arasu, who is also a member of the NTUC central committee, said, “Many of the older workers have told us they are not ready to retire for good.”

Some of them, he added, need to support their families, others hope to build up funds for healthcare or retirement, and many say they are still healthy, physically able and want to be gainfully employed.

In other words, many of the older Singaporeans want to continue to work out of necessity. They need money to eat and to see doctors.

Hence, Mr Arasu proposed that the government should raise both the retirement age and re-employment age to help older workers stay employed, so as to keep earning money.

He said, “The extension of the retirement age and re-employment age provides certainty to workers who want to continue working, and allows a longer runway for employers to plan for training and upskilling, as well as adapt to digital transformation holistically.”

He proposed that the retirement age to go up from 62 to 65, and the re-employment age from 67 to 70.

He told Parliament that the best support an elderly worker can get is “ensuring they have a good job”.

“I urge the civil service and other government-linked companies to quickly take the lead,” he added.

He also spoke about the importance of training and educating the older workers.

Elderly work till death

Indeed, many of the elderly in their 60s and even 70s have to continue to work, despite their old age and sufferings from age-related ailment. Many simply do not have enough money to retire decently in their sunset years, unlike the elderly in other first world countries.

Some work as cleaners in hawker centres while others work as security guards. Still, some work at Changi airport as cleaners or trolley collectors surprising many tourists who are visiting Singapore.

Not surprising, there have been reports of Singapore elderly working till they literally dropped dead in their workplace.

For example sometime ago, there was a media report about a dishwasher, Mdm Ho, who died while working at ABC hawker centre in Bukit Merah. She died inside a toilet, still sitting on the toilet bowl.

According to the report, Mdm Ho worked daily from morning till night, 7 days a week. She had to wash some 200 dishes a day. She only had 2 days off a month.

“When I saw her yesterday, she was walking unsteadily and appeared pale. I heard she has been having diarrhea for the past few days,” her supervisor then said.

It’s not known if Mdm Ho had ever spoken to Mr Arasu, telling him at the time that she was not ready to retire before she finally succumbed to death.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like


全职国民服役人员李函轩因军训时中暑身亡,验尸官昨日(27日)宣读研讯结论,表示死者因中暑身亡,且在中暑后的急救不够理想,送医过程有所延误,但案件并不涉及任何犯罪行为。 验尸庭针对服役军人李函轩(19岁)军训中暑身亡案件进行研讯,昨日(27日)由验尸官卡玛拉在庭上宣读研讯结论。卡玛拉表示,李函轩在快步行军(fast march)后,已经无法站稳,必须靠人搀扶到休息站,且出现语无伦次、口水直流、呼吸急促的情况,随后失去意识。 对此,卡玛拉表示,当时的急救做得不够理想,拖延太久才讲李函轩送往医疗中心,且始终无法成功将他的体温降低,才会导致李函轩在重症中暑下,前往樟宜综合医院拯救。 独立医疗专家、医院急诊部主管邢伟坚医生曾供证表示,现场急救工作本可得到改善,但由于李函轩从早上8点25分投诉身体不舒服至9点05分才送往医疗室,已经超过40分钟,显然超过急救时间。 “竟然需要40分钟(将李函轩)送医,真的是太久了”,邢伟坚表示。 邢伟坚认为延迟10至15分钟是可以接受的,但若血压能够及时被延缓,死亡率也将从33巴仙降至10巴仙。 与此同时,医生认为可能与身体过于劳累所导致。李函轩与同伴因违规行为而受到惩罚,未能获得7小时的休息时间。然而,李函轩在中暑前并未出现身体不适,因此无法由此判断,包括中暑前的抽筋。 卡玛拉在总结后向李函轩的家属致哀,表示李函轩是尽责的好军人,他的死不仅是他家人的损失,也是国家的损失。 本月13日,验尸庭研讯上也提及,已故指挥官陈宝树,当时评估李函轩为体力耗尽,而不是中暑;当时也有人再三提醒应立即将李函轩送到医疗中心,但陈宝树仍没有这么做。 《联合早报》报道,李函轩的父亲李效强、母亲杨慧玲与姐姐李函尤出庭静听研讯结论,母亲和姐姐间中多次拭泪。母亲杨慧玲庭外受访时,双眼含泪地说:“人一旦不在了,你做些什么他都不会回来了。” 她说,每个儿子都是父母的宝贝,这样的失误令人难以接受,更是无法原谅。…

S’pore should ratify international standard for domestic workers to receive same employment rights as other workers

by Kamalini I am happy to see the Straits Times forum letter…

Share price of GIC-backed PRC coffee chain plunges 75.5% after investigation finds COO fabricated sales

In 2018, China-based Luckin Coffee, a coffee chain with ambitions to challenge…

Suspected upskirt pervert caught by public in Toa Payoh

In what is becoming a common occurrence, a man suspected of taking…