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Beggars in Singapore...

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Beggars in Singapore...

Postby serendipity » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 9:53 pm

During my best friend's stay, we were approached by 2 old women asking for money from us. One was near my place and the other one was on Orchard Rd.
I just didn't have the heart and gave them 2 dollars. The way I see it, I meself wouldn't be less richer to have less 2 bucks nor getting richer if I didn't give it up, plus they looked they were in need yet can't work cause of age and if I could help, why not.

I was intrigued however that my friend didn't even seem to have any sympathy and when I asked her, she told me that because she was in her vacation here, the way she saw it, she just couldn't be bothered to care nor that she saw it as her problem...
I must admit coming from a loving and sympathetic person as far as I know her during our friendship for 7 years when we were in the same country, this comment kind of shocked me...

So now I wonder what would you do if you're approached by a person who looks as if s/he were in need yet didn't seem to be able to work and if you could tell us why behind the reaction you have, that would be even more fancy.

I can see this leading to how the welfare system works here and how one should plan carefully his/her retirement plan as well, which to me by all means, say what you have in mind.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:15 pm

serendipity,

Singapore is noted for its laws. No Begging is one of them. There are no Singaporean beggers in Singapore. Those that are approaching you, are sitting on the overpass, standing on the sidewalks are all from outside singapore and are run by syndicates. It's just like the deafmutes selling stuffed animals, they are neither deaf nor mute. It is just a ruse to get soft hearted folks like yourself to part with their money.

Same in NYC. The Pencil selling invalids are earning 30K usd a year minimum. They are not beggars they are just smarter than you to get you to fork up $2 for absolutely nothing.

Singapore has enough self-help groups and charities (clan associations, etc.) to cater to Singapore's welfare receipients. What you see are from across the causway or harbour. While singapore does not have an entrenched welfare system, those that truly need help are usually taken care of. Yes, like splatted's story today, there will always be those who somehow manage to fall through the cracks somehow.

sms

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Postby EADG » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:39 pm

this must be why my local windsurfing friends, who are very nice people, don't pay the Aunties with a blind person in tow for tissues at the foodcourt

I do anyway just to do it, I mean, what's S$1 to me for the effort they are making, but only if I see them go up to locals as well as Ang Mohs

and like SMS says, I also have a natural hesitation not to pay as there are so many scams taking advantage of well-intentioned people, NY unfortunately hardens people that way

sundaymorningstaple wrote:serendipity,

Singapore is noted for its laws. No Begging is one of them. There are no Singaporean beggers in Singapore. Those that are approaching you, are sitting on the overpass, standing on the sidewalks are all from outside singapore and are run by syndicates. It's just like the deafmutes selling stuffed animals, they are neither deaf nor mute. It is just a ruse to get soft hearted folks like yourself to part with their money.

Same in NYC. The Pencil selling invalids are earning 30K usd a year minimum. They are not beggars they are just smarter than you to get you to fork up $2 for absolutely nothing.

Singapore has enough self-help groups and charities (clan associations, etc.) to cater to Singapore's welfare receipients. What you see are from across the causway or harbour. While singapore does not have an entrenched welfare system, those that truly need help are usually taken care of. Yes, like splatted's story today, there will always be those who somehow manage to fall through the cracks somehow.

sms
Last edited by EADG on Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby serendipity » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:46 pm

It is just a ruse to get soft hearted folks like yourself to part with their money.

So are you implying that one should be more skeptical here when encountering people like that?

I must admit I was fully aware that it can be a ruse, but like I mentioned before just parting a couple of bucks that doesn't happen everyday anyway, doesn't do that much harm for me.
And if that person is indeed in need yet I decide to turn a blind eye cause of being skeptical, I wouldn't say it would make me feel as I can't live with myself anymore but well my conscious would bug me for some time...

The interesting thing is, even if it's a ruse, considering our loss individually isn't that big anyway, why would we be annoyed to find out it's a ruse and perhaps even a profitable one for the person.
Is it because that person "cheats" on the system, not to work as hard as we do to earn our money?
I think I'll start another thread on this "cheating the system" thingy, hope freeme will jump in as he was the one who told me about it.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 11:38 pm

serendipity,

As much as we like to trash the locals here with their penchant for lack of compassion most of what we rant on about is the compassion of the individual here. The charities, mosques, temples, clan associations, and what not do a great job of caring for the less fortunate. The government wont put in place a structured welfare system because they have seen what it will do to a country (the west has been a great teacher on how NOT to do that).

You would be better off donating your money to one of these organizations an thereby knowing that your money is not going to some ringleader/syndicate somewhere while the person you gave it to gets only a pittance of it. Your compassion is worthy and I commend you for it. But it is being wasted the way you are doing it now. I know it looks pitiful and tugs at the heart strings. That's exactly what it's supposed to do. They are trained well.

Or better yet, donate some of your time to these various associations. They appreciate that even more. Then you are "really" giving of yourself and not just donating money to salve your conscious (this is not meant as a slight to you personally - it's just that it seems to be the local way - give money, that way we can still work and earn more so we don't miss it). I have always had a problem with that. Especially when you donate time and see the joy on the faces of those you are helping. That is priceless. A good example of this is the US Navy. Often, when they are visiting Singapore for several days a contingent of them, all volunteers, go to Boystown and do repairs, maintenance and what-have-you for the residents there (It's not just a reformatory).

sms

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Postby dot dot dot » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 11:55 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:A good example of this is the US Navy. Often, when they are visiting Singapore for several days a contingent of them, all volunteers, go to Boystown and do repairs, maintenance and what-have-you for the residents there (It's not just a reformatory).

sms


Ahum.... :roll:

I may be crucified again for my supposed anti-american sentiment, but those navy boys are more known for their drunken agression when again in town. Beating up other people, molesting staff and other guests in Hilton hotel (their fav place, as it is opposite OT).

Good to hear that in between they also find time to do some charity... :-|

Eric

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Postby Kats_ » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 1:10 pm

I would actually buy them a meal or something instead.

Some say they have inflicted it upon themselves and choose to beg...easy to say, but who knows what have they gone through and there could certainly be so many case where they are mentally ill.

I mean honestly, if you arent wouldnt you rather improve your living conditions?

I am being reminded of this particular saying (not in exact words)

- You can make a man happy for a day by feeding him; you can make him happy for life by showing him how to feed himself

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 1:20 pm

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:A good example of this is the US Navy. Often, when they are visiting Singapore for several days a contingent of them, all volunteers, go to Boystown and do repairs, maintenance and what-have-you for the residents there (It's not just a reformatory).

sms


Ahum.... :roll:

I may be crucified again for my supposed anti-american sentiment, but those navy boys are more known for their drunken agression when again in town. Beating up other people, molesting staff and other guests in Hilton hotel (their fav place, as it is opposite OT).

Good to hear that in between they also find time to do some charity... :-|

Eric


As well you should be, Eric. However it won't be me doing it! When a US Carrier comes into Singapore it is carrying a contingent of over 5000 when not in full battle ready state on the carrier alone not counting the ancillary fleet. Believe me, what you see in town and beating others up is minute (often caused by anti-american bashers having had too much to drink and spouting off to the wrong people (Marines in particular). Conversely, if you had been here as long as I have, you might be more inclined to think the Kiwi's held that title (sorry tiki - I've seen the Kiwi SP's more than the US SP's over the years. You boys really like to mix it up! And damn good I might add! :mrgreen: )

You ought to try looking for the good in people some of the time. Your penchant for only pointing out the bad does tend to come off as bashing. Myself? I just consider the source. :cool:

Anyway, Happy Easter if you are religious, if not, Enjoy the long holiday.

sms
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Sun, 16 Apr 2006 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby tiki » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 1:23 pm

Some of these 'beggars' actually have healthy bank accounts.

Some are in dire need. What usually happens when they get picked up by the authorities is...

for those without homes, they are usually sent to a shelter namely, the Angsana Home which located on the same grounds as the IMH. At least there, they will get proper lodging and most important of all food.

I knew a guy who had major psoriasis. He was literally kicked out of his home and spent 5 yrs sleeping in a neighbouhood park. He tried looking for jobs mostly as a car washer etc but in the end was always laid off because the employer feels he is 'scaring' customers away. That is how ignorant people can be towards his condition.

He ended up begging in town.

The buskers there felt that he was 'taking away' their income so on the sly, called the police.

He is now in a shelter. Yea he misses the freedom but at least he gets the care he needs....

...& the equal stature, he deserves.
'If you feel alive
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Postby Plavt » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 4:19 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:serendipity,

The government wont put in place a structured welfare system because they have seen what it will do to a country (the west has been a great teacher on how NOT to do that).

sms


I would like to know what exactly you mean by that? In the first instance the Singapore government likely cannot afford such a system and in any case the culture as you know is different to that of the UK for example. When you say 'the west has been a great teacher on how not to do that' presumably you are talking about America.

Plavt.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 4:58 pm

Plavt wrote:I would like to know what exactly you mean by that? In the first instance the Singapore government likely cannot afford such a system and in any case the culture as you know is different to that of the UK for example. When you say 'the west has been a great teacher on how not to do that' presumably you are talking about America.

Plavt.


The fact that when in Asia referring to the West generally means the US (rightly or wrongly) and the fact that we are the ones who are always blamed for all the ills of the world I can only use the US as a model. Even the "Projects" which is like I guess the forerunners of HDB housing here or even "council housing" as you were talking about in another thread. Here it isn't dangerous, in the US it's dangerous all the time. Apparently it is the same in the UK?

Slightly tongue in cheek however, Singapore could afford it it they raised the tax rates to something like what the UK has? or the US. Double edged sword isn't it.

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Postby tiki » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 5:10 pm

In a way it's correct SMS.

Generally when you mention 'West', the common (mis)conception woould be the assumption that it is the US of A.

But you reckon the UK in not really considered the 'West' because the system here is basically modelled after theirs?

...well if fish&chips came wrapped in a newspaper, that would complete it :wink:
'If you feel alive

in a darkened room

Do you know the name

of your solitude..'

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 6:04 pm

tiki wrote:In a way it's correct SMS.

Generally when you mention 'West', the common (mis)conception woould be the assumption that it is the US of A.

But you reckon the UK in not really considered the 'West' because the system here is basically modelled after theirs?

...well if fish&chips came wrapped in a newspaper, that would complete it :wink:


I think the only thing left "here" that is British in origin is the driving on the other side of the road, english spellings and some pronunciations e.g., schedule, aluminium and so forth, a parlimentary government (albiet no longer uk style - in as much as there is no viable opposition). Oh yeah..........


and MR. BEAN. :cry:

sms :mrgreen:

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Postby Plavt » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 6:16 pm

tiki wrote:well if fish&chips came wrapped in a newspaper, that would complete it :wink:



You must have a long memory Tiki, the practice was banned when I was nine years old (about 1966 if I remember correctly), oops giving my age away.

:D :D :D :P

Plavt.

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Postby tiki » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 7:06 pm

Plavt wrote:
tiki wrote:well if fish&chips came wrapped in a newspaper, that would complete it :wink:



You must have a long memory Tiki, the practice was banned when I was nine years old (about 1966 if I remember correctly), oops giving my age away.

:D :D :D :P

Plavt.


They banned that in the year England won the FIFA World Cup?

Last time I was in UK, last year they served them in newspapers, in a small town. I could actually read the morning news on them :wink:
'If you feel alive

in a darkened room

Do you know the name

of your solitude..'


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