Government shortlists potential sites to build retirement village
17th April 2006
SINGAPORE : The government has shortlisted a few potential sites for the construction of a retirement village, and the National Development Ministry is currently studying the details.
The sites are on a 30-year land lease.
And one of them will be picked to test market demand for such villages.
In an exclusive interview with MediaCorp's Channel 8, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in the past, the idea of building retirement villages was put on the back burner as Singapore's problem of an ageing population was not as serious as that in Europe and America.
The Singapore market was also too small for retirement villages to be commercially viable.
But the prospects have since changed.
With a rapidly ageing Singapore population, Mr Khaw said in five years' time, retirement villages will become economically viable.
One obstacle is the high costs of land in Singapore.
"My personal view is, our land is expensive. But we have nearby neighbours in Johore, Batam and Bintan. The elderly want to reach their doctors within half to one hour. So retirement villages in neighbouring countries is possible, barring the cross-border hassle. It is best to find cheap land on short leases," said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
- CNA /ls
Finally found the article over at My Wang's.
Honestly I'm personally very disappointed at our Health Minister, ship our old folks away once they lose their economical viability? What kind of Confucian society are we? Once a person loses their economic value, we can just kiss them goodbye? What kinda fucked up society are we? Even crows know how to take care of their parents when they get old, we're no better than them.
Of course we can argue that the idea of a retirement village in our neighbouring country is just providing another option for our elderly, that once they reach retirement age, they will have a choice to either stay in Singapore and beg, or sell their flats and live in JB.
What kinda choice is that? It's a decision made in stone but disguised as a choice. It's disgusting.
For too long, I'm trained to think of everything in dollars and cents. As long as the economy is doing well, who cares about the ruling party? Who cares what they do as long as they continue to provide me with a job?
But now I'm starting to understand.. We cannot measure everything in terms of economics, there's such a thing called social justice and that's what's lacking.
In dollar and cents terms, it makes sense to send our old folks away, but morally is that right? Of course it's a child's responsibility to take care of their parents, but when the child fails to do so, is it that much of a request to ask the government to step in? Our parents worked hard to make Singapore what it is today, is it too much to ask the government to do their bit to help take care of them?
Providing old folks with excellent health care in a neighbouring country is not right. That only takes care of them physically, mentally? Tearing them away from their social network, away from friends and family.. Is that right? Even when we live on the same island, I hardly see my grandfolks. I know it's a fault of my own, not making the effort to go visit, but imagine this, if I already do not make the effort of visiting my grandfolks when we are in the same country, how often would I visit them if they're in another country?
Let's just say I'm very disappointed at what is happening, but I'm happy that I'm getting a chance to vote. Who will I vote for? Well voting is secret.. Plus there's still 4 more days to go, who knows what will happen??