Was damn pissed reading the post by Minister Tan Chuan Jin about his cardboard collecting experience with some elderly.
We did two cardboard collections with a elderly woman at Chinatown late last year and her experience told us that it is not as fun as Minister Tan would suggest.
Some also don’t have a choice.
We have heard of two elderly collectors killed in the highway last year as they pushed their loaded trolley down our busy roads and met with accidents. I remembered shedding tears for them when I saw the news as they reminded me of my own mother who is fortunate enough to be well taken care of.
The cardboard collector we met has two grown-up sons but both are struggling and to lessen their burden she has being collecting cardboard for the past decade. She earns not more than $20 a day collecting cardboard and sell it to the main collector nearby.
If I am not wrong, each kilo of cardboard is sold at $0.15 and a trolley load of cardboard can only take in about 10 kg max. Some try to soak it with a little bit of water so it will weigh heavier.
She also has to compete with PRC collectors nowadays and has to wake up earlier so that she has the first bite at the cardboard before it is all snatched away.
Our belief is that our elderly should not even be doing such tough manual work in our prosperous first world economy even though some may enjoy the work for personal reason.
I have travelled widely to many first world countries and have never see their elderly work as hard as ours in their twilight years.
Many of our elderly collect plates, wash dishes and clean our tiolets as they struggle to survive in the world’s costliest city.
They should have enough to retire on and not to think of how to alleviate their children’s burden.