Pioneer Generation Package: a vote-buying ploy?

Marginalized senior citizens: many elderly Singaporeans still need to toil in a first world country

Marginalized senior citizens: many elderly Singaporeans still need to toil in a first world country

A very tragic end: Samsui woman, 95, fell to her death over costly medical care. SO SAD. RIP.

A very tragic end: Samsui woman, 95, fell to her death over costly medical care. SO SAD. RIP.

Everyone from the Pioneer Generation I spoke to dismissed the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) as propaganda.

“To buy our votes,” my friend Richard said.

Why now then show concern for the Pioneer Generation? Why not five years, ten years ago?

To be sure, this government has in the past shown disdain for the older generation who helped build the nation. The oldies must learn to stand on their own two feet, a welfare state would lead to ruin, a sense of entitlement is unacceptable declared the regime.

Even Chinese-educated friends, typically conservative, derided the Pioneer Generation Package as pure propaganda. They point to the looming GE for the “generosity”.

“How many will actually benefit? Every year many pioneers  pass on. On paper it seems impressive,” a pioneer pointed out.

Why all this cynicism and skepticism?

Before every General Election regime sweetened the ground. Goodies are dished out. Upgrading of HDB flats and MRT stations were the stock carrots.

These have reached their USE BY this date and so regime has to fish out something else from the hat. Hey presto, the Pioneer Package came into existence.

If the regime had shown care and concern for the older generation much earlier it’d have eased much suffering and anxiety. Or even prevented many premature deaths due to their inability to pay for medical care.

What better person to encapsulate the struggle of the pioneer generation than the Samsui woman? Last year a Samsui woman in her 90s fell down to her death rather than burden her family with the financial burden of medical care for her.

The PGP is regarded as hypocritical and having an ulterior motive by many pioneers I spoke to.

A taxi driver sums it up superbly. “This is ERP government…Every Day Rob People…ERP…government,”he said.

NOTE: ERP stands for Electronic Road Pricing purportedly to ease congestion. But it has attracted resentment because even when there’s no congestion, ERP remains operational. Hence, the derisory term Everyday Rob People. Brilliant.

 

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