Thursday, 9 October 2008

Uncompassionate Nation

Let me say that poverty exists in every country on the face of the earth. But how each country respond to it may be different. There are loads of homeless in Britain, however most of them are a result of wrong drinking habits, lottery, or broken marriage, rather than credit crunch, bankruptcy or disability. As a Brits wanna be, I am quite satisfied with how the government try to help its less-previldge-citizen. Shelther for the homeless, paid carers for the disabled, rebates for low income, even council house for single parents.

Today, when I came across this website, suddenly I was reminded on tissue paper seller in Singapore. I remembered how an elderly woman approach me with a bag of tissue paper while I was sitting in Kopi Tiam (hawker center) eating my dinner. After staying in singapore for 7 years, that is not an unusual scene. "It's a shame if her kids doesn't take care of her", or "That's a pity her husband died and she had to make a living", but pity doesn't do much help.

Right, many people blame Singapore government for being....uncompassionate and too money minded. But, isn't a nation is build by it's people? if we want to change the way our government work, lets start it with ourselves. How selfish I am for only giving 4-7% of my salary as a tax and letting this elderly woman selling tissue paper for a living? "WHAT? are you going to increase income tax???!!!" Ah, so many people in Singapore not willing to be taxed more (bear in mind, UK income tax is 20%) the money to help these people had to come from somewhere don't you know?


I am not a great fan of tissue papers. I mean I use them, but I don't form a habit of carrying them around with me all the time. But when I'm back home, I always have an endless supply of little packets in my bags. Because I buy them whenever I see an old person selling them. I mean, really whenever. Me and my sis once had about 20 packets in our bags at a time just trying to shop along Orchard Road. My family does that all the time. My grandmother treats fellow old people to meals when she goes to the wet market for food (while she goes around cheating my taxi fares). The garang guni man likes us because he doesn't need to pay us when he collects old newspaper from our house.
I hate it when I see young people walking along the shopping district with all their bags of new clothes, and blatantly ignore the odd old man standing by selling packets of tissue papers. He's not begging - he's earning a living trying to sell them. It's only $1, you get 4 packets, and it's cheaper than what you get from Watson's. I get pissed off my friends when I bring up this issue. Because I find them an obstinate selfish bunch of bloody idiots when they don't see the point. I'm sorry if 'buying from 1 person doesn't help the entire society', or that 'they are probably bad parents who got abandoned by their children, and so they deserve having to be abandoned', or if 'they are just trying to gain your sympathy'. It makes me embarrassed on your behalf, how you try to mangle your way out of the little act of kindless you can do. If you can afford your M.A.C cosmetic (yes px, you are one of the guilty ones), your headphones, your La Senza kinky underwear, your newly bought LV wallet (yes YOU #@^*#@@(#!), then you can bloody go buy some tissue paper the next time you see an old person selling them.
Sorry, but it really pisses me when you guys are being so horribly annoying.

Taken from Junie of

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