Singapore has the widest gap between the rich and poor in the world, second only to Hong Kong. Singapore still has a Gini coefficient of 0.458 in 2016, but how do we prove that Singapore really needs reform?
'What's life like for the poor in Singapore? Many Singaporean netizens and foreign netizens who know Singapore have given out their answers. "We don't know who they are -- Singapore refuses to set an official poverty line, so the Numbers are unknown. They cannot beg, which is illegal under the poor people's act. They have to secretly sell tissues and collect cardboard boxes and soft drink bottles, so people don't see them."
A recent book, "This Is What Inequality Looks Like," by Zhang Youyuan, a local sociologist, notes that because the country does not set a poverty line, it is difficult to specify how many poor Singaporeans are. According to the 2016 statistics, the per capita income of the top 10 percent of households is 23 times that of the bottom 10 percent, which is s $12,773 and s $543.
There are undoubtedly some neglected groups in Singapore, and with the economic environment unstable, more and more people feel insecure. But given Singapore's habitual view that poverty is a matter of individual productivity, not how society works, it is hard to call for national reform.
Talking about the low-income families he visited, professor Zhang Youyuan said in the book that sometimes he could not help thinking of his childhood holidays when he went to live with his relatives in Malaysia. Although the place was small, he had to make beds and boil water in the shower, but he was also willing to slow down the pace of life to chat, which was a kind of human kindness.
In the general concept of Singapore, "survival of the fittest" is the absolute truth of the society, and poor people mean poor ambition. Whether the wages are too low, whether they are "exploited", and whether the poor family will limit the future of the younger generation, not all people are used to discussing openly. The plight of "non-mainstream" groups, such as single mothers, is often ignored.
According to a survey released in December, Singapore's social networks show more class divisions than race or religion. According to the policy institute of the Lee Kuan Yew school at the national university of Singapore, both elite and non-elite students tend to associate with similar groups, while those living in private homes are less likely to associate with HDB residents.
Does this also mean that the elite in Singapore cannot understand the plight of the lower and middle class, while the lower and middle class cannot break through the barriers of family and educational background and find a place in the competitive society? The current employment situation in Singapore also appears to reflect growing concerns.
Recent data show that the employment rate of private school graduates is generally lower than that of those who attend public universities, with only 60 percent finding full-time jobs within six months. The proportion of polytechnics and technology graduates who found full-time jobs in six months also fell from 77 percent in 2007 to 58 percent in 2016, senior education minister Pujeli said in response to a question from opposition MPS.
Unemployment concerns are associated with the accumulation of provident fund. People find it difficult in having their own houses and getting their pension. However, as professor Zhang points out in his book, the Singapore government has never taken public housing, retirement security, health care and other benefits for granted. The concept here is similar to the British and American thinking. The word "welfare" is only used to provide assistance to those low-income families who are eligible, while the rest lose social security as long as they do not have formal jobs.
Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking on the issue of the wealth gap last Monday, said Singapore's Gini coefficient was about the same as that of metropolitan areas such as Beijing, Shanghai, London, and New York. The latest figure is down from 0.470 in 2006, and only 0.402 when government tax revenues and fiscal transfers are taken into account.
If income inequality continues to rise, he said, creating structural rigidities and insensitivity among classes, he feared that "politics will deteriorate, society will split and the country will decline." But he concluded that the government had already taken various measures to help low-income groups, and there was no need to set up special inter-departmental committees to discuss these issues.
Hi, everyone! As Father's day is coming, have you ever started planning the presents for your father?
Today is father's day. Our fathers, they never say that they love us, but they give us all.
From childhood to adulthood, we seem to always rely on mom, but ignore dad's deep concern. We always sing the praises of maternal love, but always ignore the implication of fatherly love. We always open our hearts to our mothers, but rarely to our fathers.
When we were still in our mother's belly, it was our father's intimate and subtle care that made us be born safe and sound. When we are naughty, it is our father's severe criticism and let us know the rights and wrongs. When we leave home and go far away, they cried secretly but never tell. Dad hides his love in his special way, caring for us to grow up in every period of our life.
For this father's day, why not giving something special to your father? Still considering buying ordinary presents for him? Follow NOMs lead, let's make a dish for him and let today become a precious day of you and your father's memories.
Preparing a dish as a gift for fathers is not only a pleasure but also a chance to express your inside love towards your father by your own efforts.
To be more far-sighted, there are definitely many merits for children as well as for the family if children can not only just giving out home-made food as a present to their parents, but indeed know how to cook for themselves.
First of all, learning how to cook will help them have self-care ability. Do a favorite meal by yourself and protect your stomach. Don't call fast food deliveries or just eat instant noodles once having left your parents. After all, your home-made meals, are way cleaner sanitary and affordable than the food ordered outside.
Secondly, do not look down on cooking, this is a universally study! Do you know why the fried meat is more fragrant if you put some white sugar on it? How do you cook your eggs medium-rare? Why does yeast in noodle make it soft and loose? Learning to cook is as much a science as biology and chemistry.
Thirdly, when there are more than your parents who will eat together with you, how to reasonably arrange the process of cooking and how to make a delicious meal in the shortest time involve planning management. Some people cook, exercise and do laundry every morning within an hour and a half, while others may need three to four hours. Therefore, it is very essential to arrange the work on hand in a tight and orderly manner, steady but not chaotic.
Last and most importantly, cook for your family and your favorite friends and do a delicious meal will make you feel endless happiness. Of course, sharing housework is children's duty, regardless of boys or girls. And no doubt cooking will be the easiest and also the most interesting one to start with!
As we talked about Ramadan last week, we are going to explore what happens next during this week's blog, which is, Hari Raya Puasa.
Hari Raya Puasa, which falls on October 1st each year on the Islamic calendar, is a major Islamic festival. It is a paraphrase of "eid al-fitr" in Arabic and is one of the three major Islamic festivals.
Under Islam principles, Muslims bathe and dress for Hari Raya Puasa, gathering at a nearby mosque to worship, hear a sermon from a cleric and mourn their ancestors. Families prepare dried apricots, almonds, fragrant oils, Fried fruits, melon, fruit, tea, and sugar to entertain guests, while young people gather to sing and dance.
Therefore, we'll introduce the 10 top Hari Raya Puasa foods to you as you might not know their tastes or even their names yet!
Are you ready? Let's go!
It's the holy grail of Malaysian food fashion. A finger for food or simple innocent indulgence. What we do know is that once you start, it's hard to stop these delicious delights.
Spread a layer of peanut butter on top, or place some Ketut or rice dumpling next to it, to reduce the unpleasant sweetness. These meat sticks are a meal in themselves!
Whether it is chicken, beef or mutton, as long as it is slow-stewed meat in a kind of gravy that looks like curry, everyone went in.
4. Asam pedas
It's not just a spicy fish stew, it's also unique in its acidity and flavor. The exact origin of the dish is unclear, but Assam pitas is a decidedly homemade dish that attracts people at every Raya dinner.
Rice cakes are served with nenek's signature ingredients in coconut gravy, and if that doesn't fill the void of traditional Raya, I don't know what else.
A common delicacy celebrated by most people but usually eaten towards the end of the Muslim fast. Lemang is similar to katupat or nasi impit, adding a flavor from coconut milk.
7. Bubur Lambuk
Bubur Lambuk's humble origins have earned it a place at many people's table. It evolved from a Muslim tradition of serving food to the poor during Ramadan into a versatile dish.
This delicious goo is often shaped like a dumpling. Its strategic size is to avoid overindulging these diabetes-inducing goodies. It has the texture of a Chinese New Year cake, but with every bite, you get a taste of sweet wine. This seemingly innocuous triangle also includes durian, acid-sorp, jackfruit and just about anything you can think of.
9. Kuih muih
When it comes to diversity and non-discrimination, the "kuih muih" of Malay cuisine is a perfect definition of this, but in the form of aesthetically comforting food. Each Quaker bite was as pleasant as the next. Sweet, delicious, small, that's why you exercise Raya.
10. Otak- otak
The genius who came up with the idea of wrapping spiced minced fish in banana leaves will definitely deserve the prestigious cooking award. The charred surface of the leaves gives the charred taste of the fish, but never replaces the springy and crunchy texture. Hence, how can you Raya without this dish?
Hari Raya Puasa is a precious day for Muslims. During the festival, every Muslim has the opportunity to participate in prayer and worship activities to improve his character and morality and to expect more grace and harvest from Allah.
Hari Raya Puasa is also a time for Muslim's self-reflection, self-renewal, and mercy. It should be more about the elderly, friends and family, the widowed and the poor, who might otherwise be forgotten. Muslims who pray for the bounty of Allah should first of all praise the grace that Allah has bestowed on people and give those in need of spiritual or material help what they can according to their own conditions. Through a successful religious festival, individuals, families, and society should be spiritually lifted.
Written by Zou Yi Lin