OPINION: Looking Out For Themselves

Singapore Notes, 18 Nov 2013
Lee Hsien Loong says a poverty line like the World Bank's measure of $1.50 a day is irrelevant since there are no "dead poor" in Singapore, which he defines as those who are starving and unsheltered. By his Cambridge Senior Wrangler (students who gain first-class degrees in mathematics) logic, those living in public housing but can afford only one meal a day are not poor. That must be why Lily Neo had a hard time asking for more money for the poor from Vivian Balakrishnan, and was rebuffed with the wicked hawker center, food court or restaurant line.
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong could be thinking along similar lines when he told Joo Chiat residents that "Govt will look out for asset-rich, cash-poor". He was responding to a point made by a landed property owner who had to pay a hefty property tax for his home which he bought when it cost "less than the cost of buying a car today". Since no line is drawn in the sand to qualify poverty, help may be coming to those who maxed out their credit lines to own two properties, one to rent out and one to stay in. Full story
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