Posted by: happyangelclub | 十一月 30, 2009

A small lunch box can mean so much to the needy

By Jane

Some people maybe rich enough to have a meal cost one thousand dollar.

But, in some of the one room rental flat, there are some needy elderly who can’t even afford to pay 50 cents to buy for a meal.

*Mdm Wong 91 yrs old. She is single and  stays alone. She collects newspaper and cardboard to pay for her rental and PUB. She said :” now I can only sell the cardboard at three cents per kg, so cheap. I can only collect few of the old newspaper and cardboard nearby the shop. Don’t know why now not so many cardboard for me to collect?”

I asked :” Do you go to the nearby SAC to eat lunch? I know you only need to pay 50 cents. Is there anyone help you to apply for Public Assistant (PA)?”

She replied :” One day 50 cents, 6 days $3. I have no money to pay. I can not apply for PA because last time I have join name with my brother to own a house.”


Mr.Ho 79 yrs old was neglected by children. He stays alone. His power supply always cut off. He use to eat the free lunch at the nearby temple. But now no more free lunch. According to him, there were many foreigners brought along their family to eat the free meals at the temple everyday.Thus now the temple don’t provide free meals for the public.


For these two elderly who not eligible to apply for the govt. funds but yet their basic needs are lunch and dinner. What is our policy can help these type of special cases?




  1. From REACH:

    Hi Jane,

    Sad to hear these stories.

    When i was a little child, living in a one room flat, live is still not that bad. My neighbours always told me that as long as holding a pink ic, your stomach will not go hungry. It is in the early 90’s, work is everywhere, and Foreign workers were little.

    In just about 10 to 20 years, life here starts to turn bad. Sg has transformed into a little world, there is not much differences what ever passport or ic u hold.

    What has really happen, i am not sure, a first class country with alot of hunger old man. No one can take care of no one.

    I used to donate money for the poor, irregardless whether it is for pink ic or whatever passports. Today, i need to keep every cents in my pocket, else i may become the elderly in your stories one day.

    Sad Sad ..

  2. There are many stories out there which were not being noticed by our govt. It is impossible for me to bring our MP or Minister to visit these elderly because our ministers are busy.

    I will do some video to put on my youtube if with the consent of the elderly. This is to create awareness and to improve the life of the 20 % lower level of the needy people.

  3. From REACH:

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for your posting.

    We have kept the relevant agency informed of your feedback. Please note that the need for a reply is assessed by the respective agency concerned and they will revert, where necessary.

    Ling (REACH Admin)

  4. Thanks Ling,

    I would appreciate if you can send my post to Dr. Vivian. or ask him to come and read the discussion here. Also, not to forget to visit and click on the left bottom ‘oldest entries’ to view more previous photos and reports.

    Also, go to and scroll down to view the video and photos shoot from page 1- 7.

    I remember when MP Lily Neo voice out for the needy elderly to ask Dr.Vivian to increase the PA monthly money. She was being questioned by Dr. Vivian said how much did she think it was enough for the daily meals?
    Lily Neo even did a survey of the elderly’s monthly expenses and published on the newspaper.

    The PA amounts were finally increased to $360.00. But it seems like not easy to apply for PA and other govt funds now. There are people in our society who are hunger and need to fight for their daily meals. There are also people can not afford to buy a package of rice for their lunch or dinner.

    As the cost of living in Singapore is getting higher and higher now. Many people in difference ages also suffer for it.

    Maybe, networking of temple, church, RC,SAC to provide quality services to the needy people are more important. The temple which stop to provide free meal may not know that their previous services have benefit people in need. One of the 92 yrs elderly told me that she can get a free lunch box in Church on Sunday. I can see how happy from her face. To you and me, maybe this one package of lunch box it’s just so easy to buy it from our nearby coffee shop. But to the needy and older elderly, it means so much to her.

    I have suggested to the staff of MCYs that it needs a SAC at York Hill to serve the Blk11.12.13 three blocks of one room rental flats.
    The current one at Jalan Kukok Blk8 4th floor already serve Blk2 and Blk3. One SAC can not serve so many blocks.

    Further more, the current SAC is too far for the elderly at York Hill.
    Blk11 is the best place to build a SAC because the car park is very easy for loading. Which is right now I already conducted the montly programme there.

    Please also note that next time when setting RC or SAC or other Vwo centre. Pls consider not to buile all the centre together. eg now at Blk8 4th floor has a SAC and RC together.
    Also, SAC should build at the void deck of one room rental flat but not 3 room or 4 room.

    It’s only Dr.Vivian can visit some of the old age and needy elderly himself. then he will create some special policies to care for them.

    There are some guys now always like to drink and dirty the void deck of the above three block. Kindly inform the police to give them warning so as to let the elderly can come down to the void deck and make use of the table and chair there.

  5. For some of the needy elderly, they will still can survive by their own way even the govt or other people don’t care for them. They have their strong determination to stay with their loneliness too. They go and pick up the old newspaper, cardboard and bottle to sell and survive.

    There are many kind hearted people in our society who want to help these needy people. But for the long term finance assistant, the govt need to look into it.

    The Minister and the MCYS staffs who are incharge of the elderly department need to really go around to visit these families before they make any policies.

    I noticed that MP Lily Neo was now at Australia doing her study on Counselling. She said that next time she wish to serve better to the needy people. I am really glad to hear that.

    I think most of the MP and Ministers should learn from her.

  6. For the old man Mr.Ho. I am not sure what happen to his
    children? Mr.Ho said he has six children. He was once a
    sailor and bought house for his wife and children. I told him
    that if he wants to use the parent maintenance law to ask
    his children to support for his monthly expenses? He said
    don’t want because want to give his children face.

    This old man now seems a bit forgetful. I will check whether
    is he suffer from first stage dementia.
    Sometime he told me his son will help him to pay the
    monthly rental.

    I checked with the neighbour and reminded them to keep
    an eye on him. That day I gave other elderly one package
    of rice but gave him three package.

    According to the neighbour. Mr.Ho’s children did not visit
    him for more than ten years until recently than visited him.
    But , when I asked Mr.Ho for his children’s contact. He said his children did not tell him where they stay? He said sometime his children will give him 5 or 10 dollars.
    I wrote a note to his children and put at his house. I leave
    my contact on the note and asked his children to contact me.

    Also reminded the neighbour to get the contact number
    from his children if see them come to visit Mr.Ho.

    The other 91 yrs old elderly with dirty cloth……………… thin…………..very hardworking ……….bended her back
    down and tight up the cardboard and newspaper in her
    house. She was happy to receive the package rice and
    started to tell me her hard life story……………..

    At that moment, I felt with her sadness. I asked myself :” is our
    highly paid Ministers and PM can also feel the hard life of this
    91 yrs old elderly?”

    It’s good to know that her brother helps her to pay the rental
    and PUB.

  7. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.

    It will always be useful to read content from other authors and use a little something from
    their websites.


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