Singaporean babies get milk powder subsidy aid depending on where they live?

We refer to the articles “New fund to help needy buy milk for young children” and “WP sets up fund for social causes” (Straits Times, Jun 2).

A new “milk powder” fund?

The former states that “Low-income families with infants and toddlers who live in the Central Singapore District can tap a new fund to pay for milk powder.

The Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) has set aside an initial sum of $100,000 for the Formula to Grow Fund.

The cost of milk powder has risen over the years, the council noted. This has affected low-income families with young children, especially those who require special milk formula due to medical conditions.

The fund is an early childhood intervention programme to provide underprivileged children with a chance to maximise their development potential, she said.

For a start, about 60 infants and toddlers will benefit.

Members of the public who wish to contribute to the fund may contact the CDC at [email protected] Families who wish to get help may approach any family service centre in the Central Singapore District.”

Inadequate current assistance?

Does this new initiative indicate that the existing financial assistance under ComCare may be so grossly inadequate that even babies were being under-nourished?
Other poor babies?

What about the poor babies in the other constituencies that do not have this “milk powder” fund?

Why did it take so long?

Why does Singapore – arguably one of the richest countries in the world take so long to take this important step to help poor babies, and albeit in just one CDC?

“Goodies to win votes”?

Don’t you find it somewhat ironic that on the same day, we had the remarks “Politicians who give “goodies” away to win votes, with little thought of how they would pay for such goodies, risk not only insolvency, but turning citizens cynical against politics, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Monday.

“Political cynicism”?

“Democracy of that manner must lead to insolvency and eventually political cynicism,” he said, underscoring an important principle the Government held to even as it tried to make Singapore cleaner, greener and more comfortable for all.

“Paradise on earth”?

When Singapore’s ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, the discussion’[s moderator, asked Mr Khaw what he thought of the view that Singapore was paradise on Earth, the minister said: “As a government, we take a more practical approach; we dare not promise paradise.

“An enduring home” without adequate “milk powder”?

“We try to make Singapore an enduring home for all Singaporeans”? (“Promising goodies to win votes not the way to go: Khaw“, Straits Times, Jun 2).

“No child will be left behind” is not a “promise”?

So, Singapore, the so called “paradise on earth” in Ambassador Tommy Koh’s question – is only now in a sense making good on the repeated promises over the years that no child will be left behind because they are poor – by providing so basic a need as adequate milk powder?
WP also gets into the act?

As to “The Workers’ Party (WP) has set up a charity fund to run community programmes like financial aid, food distribution and health screenings.

The WP Community Fund (WPCF) is structured like the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), the ruling party’s charity arm”

Politicising of welfare?

Is it a healthy development for our so called “constructive politics” to in a way be evolving into the politicising of welfare for the needy, when we had a $36.1 billion Budget surplus in FY2012 according to the Department of Statistics, using IMF fiscal reporting guidelines?
$36.1b surplus, yet spend so little on needy?

We have so much surpluses and yet we spend so little on the needy that they have to depend on which constituency they live in and under what party, to determine what and how much help they can get?

A sad day indeed for Singapore’s “constructive politics”!

Uniquely Singapore!

SY Lee and Leong Sze Hian

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