Aug 17, 2009

Pay Your Parents, Or Be Imprisoned

ST Aug 17, 2009
Govt may act against children who dump their elderly parents

CHILDREN who dump their elderly parents in hospitals or nursing homes could be taken to task and forced to help pay for their parents' care.

The Government will study how best to use the Maintenance of Parents Act to get such children to do their filial duty, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night during his National Day Rally speech in Mandarin.

This came about after he met several nursing home managers who told him of old folk abandoned by their families.

The children of these old folk had said they would not care even if the homes decided to kick their parents out, he recounted. Some even changed the addresses on their identity cards so that they could not be located.

This will not do, said PM Lee, who also dismissed the line taken by some who say 'there is no filial son for long-term illness'.

My bet is that as the years go by, the Maintenance of Parents Act will gain greater and greater significance, as one of Singapore's social experiments.

Initially, the implementation would be mild-mannered. But over time, the authorities will become more and more aggressive in applying the Act.

After all, we have an aging population, and also a government whose policies and principles are quite firmly against providing social welfare. Yet you can't just let the old folks die in the streets.

The solution has to be this - force citizens to provide financial support for their aged parents.


Anonymous said...

That won't solve the problem entirely. Because an increasing number of couples don't intend to have kids. So who will support these people (if they can't afford to support themselves)?

Anonymous said...

Cannot imagine this stupid govt to put a handiplast on a gunshot wound...
Our birth rate is 1.28 now, meaning in future our poor sons and daughters would have to work double shifts in order to maintain old chaps like us.
It is another way for the govt to tell u, just die before it's too late... can save on medical, retirement and many other social unwants...

Anonymous said...

I tot Khaw suggested that the old folks should die on the streets of JB?

Silencer said...

this is disgusting - i don't need an act of law to do my filial duty, or any of my other moral/social obligations.

we need to rescind foolish laws, and the people who propose them.

Anonymous said...

I think rather parents should save up for their own old age and rely less on their children for anything. It's not cheap raising a family, and everyone has their own problems. People must learn to stand on their own feet and quit relying on others.

Anti-Chronic Singapore said...

If one is already filial, one should not be bothered by such a law.

Its a shame we have to come to this. If you ever visit the elderly who live alone, its very sad. Many have children but left to fend for themselves.

In the old age home, the workers would share that some elderly were left there by their children who come in big continental cars but would default on payments.

As a result of what I saw and experienced, I actually support this law.

Anti-Chronic Singapore said...

I think the law applies only if you have child/ children. And it is precisely that we have a birth rate of 1.28 that I believe they decided to have this law.

For those who relies on a salary, single and/ or do not have kids, perhaps we should be responsible for ourselves by saving and investing carefully.

Its our own lives, once we rely on an organization or someone, we become dependent.

Most importantly, be responsible for your own health.

Our parents worked and sacrificed for us. They took great care and worry for us till their old age. It is only rightful that we take good care of them.

I have seen relatives and relatives of friends who gave all sorts of excuse not to take care of their parents. No money or lack of money are always the top reasons. However, I observed that they send their children to learn ballet, violin and take a long holiday every year.

The Western and Japanese models rely on the input of borrowings from future generations. I doubt they will be able to continue this way in my life time.

There is no free lunch. Someone got to pay and I may as well pay for myself.

Can we live with less? Smaller house, smaller car, less eating out at restaurants, not buy that IPod or handphone?

Or we just have to keep up with the Jones and trade off our parents?

Anonymous said...

I think most kids in the future may have to hold 3 jobs.

Most jobs these days pay much less than they used to do in the 1990s and early 2000s, while inflation and property prices climb north relentlessly.

All jobs are threatened. Who knows, we may one day even replace our expensive judges and lawyers and doctors from cheaper sources like China or India. It won't be only the local dishwashers and forklift drivers' jobs that are threatened.

Salaries will ultimately shrink by 50%, costs goes up, and kids find caring for their aging parents a greater and greater burden. Kids may end up dumping their parents, regardless of the Parents' Maintenance Act.

tiredman said...

This is due to the failure of our very own education system. Punishment is not going to have any possitive effect in the long run.

Chrisloup said...

I see it as the state passing the burden down to families.

ALL WORRKING PEOPLE PAY TAXES. if I paid taxes in my youth, when and if I'm in my dotage and down out of luck with unfilial kids, why should anyone go begging the kids for money. what if I don't have kids? its just a ponzi scheme.

if I'm old and useless, self euthanasia should be an option.
heck, they might as well give me an annuity/loan based on the value of my organs so that I can spend it before kicking the bucket.

Anonymous said...

As it is happening all the time, the gahmen picks ideas from blogs such as this.

So.... if the childless couple do not have children. The next in line to "feed" them will be their brothers/sisters. If they are the only child, their cousins or closest relatives. Who is not having social responsibility? Anyway my parents are all dead.

SMS said...

Someone is setting the stage for a reduction in interest earnings from CPF. A later agenda is taking place i.e. the amount u set aside for your old age in your CPF is not enough for you as it is not growing the way it was projected to. 'coz it has been lost.
Realistically, how many old folks are in the nursing homes now? Do you really need to have a new law for the few thousand old folks that are there now? Old folks do not eat much. It is the health care cost that is making us poor and some pharmaceutical company rich.

Anonymous said...

"So.... if the childless couple do not have children. The next in line to "feed" them will be their brothers/sisters." that if a person is single or do not have children then the relatives will be so scared and will sever all ties with them. I am wonder my aunty...all of sudden came to us with some weird accusations and started a quarrel with us then the whole family never come in contact with us anymore. Maybe she is doing this for the sake of her children.

Anti-Chronic Singapore said...

I believe it is a projection into the future. Check the statistics from Department of Statistics and it is alarming.

Takes time to build all the old age homes and some aged singles need a place to go, once they become immobile.

My guess is the CPF minimum sum could somehow morph to an annuity scheme, allowing us to take a small sum of it every month, which is similar to the pension collected by retirees in other countries.

Amused said...

Anti-Chronic Singapore

"My guess is the CPF minimum sum could somehow morph to an annuity scheme..."

You really are out of touch aren't you? This thing already exist! It is called CPF Life. It comes with a convenient clause that allows CPF to vary the payout at the Government's discretion too!

Anti-Chronic Singapore said...

Hi Amused,

So, what would you suggest? Even if they give you back your minimum sum, is that enough? I doubt it.

Therefore, as I have mentioned before, we should take responsibilities for ourselves.

I could not think of a better way at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Most Singaporeans want to support their parents but they have been impoverished by the PAP government, who stole their wealth by selling them a $50k flat for $400k, and then squandered the stolen money through Temasek and GIC.

In short, Singaporeans can't afford to pay their parents because Temasek and GIC have squandered their wealth.

SMS said...

"I think rather parents should save up for their own old age and rely less on their children for anything" \--------
Looking after old folks is not just about money. It is about gratitude and filial piety. That sets us above animals.

SMS said...

"Most Singaporeans want to support their parents but"....
Typical of a country that has lost its feelings for another fellow person. If culture has been truly retain would such issues need to be legislated. No wonder MM mentioned (ChannelNewAsia) that it'll take another 40 years for nation building. We have build good infrastructure but not a nation. So sad.

KJ!* said...

I have read about some adults throwing money at their parents and running off to gallivant into the world. Most of us scoff and look down upon them, but in truth i can see the appeal, even at 13. My parents piss me off often and even though i know that i still love them, i can't help but want to run off and travel the world and ultimately leaving them here.

Anyhow, if the elderly's children goes to jail, how is this going to help with supporting the elderly, if the offspring is in jail, not working and thus has more of a reason to not support parents?!??

Carol said...

Has any thought about it that perhaps some parents do NOT deserve to be loved and looked after?

My parents are just such. They are irresponsible and selfish. Totally not caring for those around them.

They feed the family with dreams that can never be fulfilled cos they are nothing but hoaxes and scams.

Otherwise they use emotional blackmail on their kids- i gave up this this and that for you, blah blah blah you better this this and that.

And of cos not to mention the government. All the policies they ever had were just pure silly stop gap policies to try to limit/restrict/control Singaporeans. And now that things are falling apart, they are getting freaked out.

The government has the resources to pay, so i say make the government pay for the old. The other developed countries can, so why cant Singapore?!