Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Cost of the Gift of Life

Because this is such a cultural difference between Americans and Singaporeans (or Asians in general) I had to blog about it. It's been eating at me for days.

I found this article in The New Paper this week about Singaporean parents taking legal action against their adult children for not paying to support them financially. Meaning, their kids weren't sending them a check to pay for food or rent, so they essentially "sued" them for it. (Sorry, "sued" is the term that we Americans can understand, ha ha.)

Many of the parents win too. It's a law that falls under the Maintenance of Parents Act. In this act, adult children are forced to give money to their parents after the age of 60 if the parent cannot support themselves alone.

You Americans are scratching your heads in confusion, right? Yeah. I think my reaction was "What?! I read that wrong, didn't I?"

Nope. It's the custom here and it's enforced by law.

Coming from the US, this is a very new concept to me, as far as government involvement goes. Where I'm from, most of us are also taught to take care of our parents if they need it, but Uncle Sam never gets in our face and says "You MUST do it."

Also, I understand that most parents in the States don't require financial assistance because of things like Social Security, retirement savings and such.

However, if the need ever arose, I'm sure that the majority of Americans (that like our parents) would pitch in with no issues about it.

We do, in most cases, take care of them emotionally and physically, but that's usually the just of it. (Now I'm not talking about when they get sick, need a nursing home or long term care and so on. I'm talking everyday life after the age of 60.) We're not heathens, afterall.

Things are different on this side of the globe though. It's not only the right thing to do, it's compulsory. The only way to avoid having to write Mom and Dad a check is if you can prove that they've abandoned, abused or neglected you. If not, tough luck.

Seriously though, how do you really prove that, especially if it happened in the past?

Also, what if your parent is someone with whom you do not get along or even speak to? What if they were so bad with money that they squandered it all away gambling? What if you just simply don't have any extra cash to give out?

The article talks about three different cases of this situation. Two involve questionable parents and one involves someone they claim deserves the compensation.

I don't know though. My thinking is this: If these people were good parents to begin with, shouldn't their children want to take care of their them without having to be told to do so?

Having to get the government involved so that your children will take care of you just seems to be a giant red flag on his or her parenting skills.

But that's just my American opinion. I welcome other view points.


tiredman said...

In my view,Singapore is a society where each and every walking individual is measured as one walking economic unit.

Since each walking individual has an economic value, parents will then have to work real hard (i.e. 8-10 hrs a day) to raise their children. So, is there any time for their children?

Young Singaporean children of this generation most probably are being taught and brought up by maids. Sometime, I would wonder if they know who their parents were. Parent bonding? Ha! What is the opportunity cost there?

No matter where, even in our very own education system, children main objective is to excel in their studies. Moral education is just not as important. School is the place to raise economic value, isn’t it?

These old aged parents will then become a liability to the children when these children grow up. They (children) will have to feed their very own family which is already very expensive one to own. The question now is: Is the children close to their parents?

Sometime, it is hard for one not to wonder if parents are just too expensive to keep.

So, what are the factors that contribute to this problem? You have just got it... there are more... these are just some of the problem...

Singapore is a country that is none other than paper chase and GDP chase.

Finally, thanks you for showing some interest in our system.

Perhaps, next time it would not be surprising to find young Singaporean adults depreciating their parents’ useful life in their financial statement and later when they retire increase the cost yearly to upkeep them. Oppzzz…  kidding.

Anonymous said...

perhaps you haven't been around singapore long enough. it's just asian values.

Brad F. said...

This custom of taking care of parents is common in the Philippines too. It took me a long while to wrap my mind around the whole thing, but now I can sort of understand the necessity of it, at least in the Philippines.

There, most aged parents aren't able to take care of themselves and there are no government programs in place to look out for them. If the family doesn't support them, they're done for. That's one reason why Filipino families are typically large, with many many children. The parents are basically looking out for themselves and their financial well-being by having lots of kids, in the hopes that at least a few will provide for them later.

Now, as far as a law about it goes, I think it's going overboard. Singapore just regulates too many things sometimes.

I wonder, how about those parents that neglected their children, or abused them? But that went unreported because the kids didn't want to get their parents in trouble, but now that they're adults they don't want to have anything to do with them anymore? Why should they be forced to pay for their parent to live when they hate their parent? This should be a matter of choice that results in parents taking proper care of their children and raising them well, to be respectful and loving. When it's regulated, it's as if the government is trying to step into your family affairs and help shape your child's developing mind in regards to inter-family relations. No thank you!

I agree with what you said Megan. If you do the right thing as a parent, you shouldn't have to rely on government intervention.

Of course... there are exceptions, but very few I would think. Family is family.

@Tiredman: Maybe it's a good thing that Singaporean children are being educated, at least in part, by their maids. It might teach some of these rude young kids some humility, and some respect for people who are from less prosperous nations like where their maids are from. Though, it does affect relations with real parents and leaves a rather weak bond.

I think something that might help alleviate this situation of parents becoming an economic burden is to turn to a traditional Filipino custom of sharing one large household with multiple generations. That would cut costs. This custom is also maintained by many Middle-Eastern cultures as well.

I say that, but honestly I don't know if I could live with my parents. As much as I love them, it would drive me crazy.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Megan said...

Hey Anonymous! In the first sentence I said "cultural difference between Americans and Singaporeans (or Asians in general)". Please read before you make comments to be rude. Thanks!

Megan said...

TC, absolutely! I appreciate humor from all ends of the spectrum. :)

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It is not an Asian culture to abandon the parents. There are probably more parents living with their children (unmarried or married with children) than on their own. The cultural difference between Americans and Singaporeans cannot be measured by the mere existence of an Act.

Brad F. said...

@Anonymous: Perhaps not, but I think she was using the Act as a way to highlight the cultural difference between the United States and Singapore (or as it turns out for her Asia in general) in regards to how parents are treated by society and the government.

Give her a little credit.

Why do so many Asians misread what Megan says and immediately perceive it as an attack against their culture or country?

@TC: The joke is funny, but more true than not, unfortunately. The common mentality I've seen in Singapore is that there is no respect for people from poor countries simply based on where they're from. The fact that people don't have to have a lot of money to be smart, or to have value, doesn't seem to occur to many Singaporeans. The United States is based on the ideals of equality and justice for all. Cheesy right? And sure there are still cases of inequality in the US. No denying it. But, the level of open and acceptable derision pointed towards foreigners from less fortunate countries in Singapore is, frankly, disgusting.

As for Jews and Hitler, check out this recent YouTube Video from a Town Hall meeting in the US where people are flipping out about the health care reform that I really hope passes.

@Megan: Thanks for writing such a thought provoking post!

Brad F. said...

Oh and by the way, it's correctly written as "Filipino", not "Philippino". The "PH" is only used when naming the country because the origin of the country's name is that it was decreed by King Philip of Spain during the occupation / colonization of the islands. There is no "ph" in Tagalog, their native language.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brad F. said...

I hope the bill passes. It would be nice if smart people could win out against the ignorant masses.

Singaporean boy in Texas said...

Think of it as the alternative to the US version of the medicare program but instead of the State paying the medical and social expenses for senior citizens, its the responsibly of their children to do so. The State only intervenes when children choose for one reason or another not to shoulder this. In practice, the State would only intervene for a SMALL FRACTION of the population as opposed to the US system where the State pays expenses for EVERY senior citizen.

btw it also helps that it can be sold as "Asian Values" whatever that is suppose to be.

btw2 when I mean State this would be the US federal government.

Brad F. said...

I still think it should be a choice. Not compulsory. There are bad parents who would use it against their children as a weapon. Not to mention that I your kid is financially successful someone might decide to take an early retirement on purpose.

I hope that the overwhelming majority wouldn't Be like that but this is a sad world.

Singaporean boy in Texas said...

May not have been very clear, but the punchline is that the parents maintenance solution is far less of an intervention than the medicare. Taxation wise especially.

Brad F. said...

The only reason that works here is because of thousands of years of tradition. I don't think a similar method would go over well in the US simply because of cultural differences. If It works here though, great.

That just made me think of something. In the US taxes are used to care for the elderly with a monthly allowance and food card. That's socialst isn't it? 'Social' Security? So why are people so up in arms about social healthcare?

Cori said...

Brad F---I think part of the reason that some are so leery of social healthcare is because of social security. The gov't has so mismanaged social security that my generation will most likely never see it. The thought of turnng healthcare over to them is a little frightening. (Simple answer to a very complex issue, I realize, but it's Saturday night and I'm exhausted.)

Sis, you MUST stop being so controversial. :P It provokes people. Any time Americans question other cultures, much of the world takes offense. It is almost a cliche now, to assume that it's American arrogance, when in fact, it's just one person thinking out loud, and being inquisitive, and learning. So easy with the knee jerk reactions people! While I admire your curiosity, and I know that you genuinely want to learn from others, it is bringing out the protective big sister in me. I want to tell everyone who keeps attacking you to STAY OFF OF YOUR BLOG if they are so offended.

You have a very open spirit, and a marvelous mind, by the way.
Love you!

Megan said...

But Sis, at some level, someone will find anything I write controversial. I get "hate" comments just because I've said that durian smells like rotting garbage and I don't understand why people eat it. People will take offense to anything I write because they think I'm an ignorant American.

I'm just trying to point out differences in culture (which is essentially what my whole blog is about.)If I'm going to take anything back from this experience, I have to put it all out there. It's the only way to learn.

Don't worry. I'm pretty thick skinned. You don't need to come to Singapore and beat people up. :)

Singaporean boy in Texas said...

Actually, parent maintenance will break due to the same reasons as social security. The retirement of post-war baby boomers (we have them too) coupled with increasing life expectancy. In the US, social security pay outs will just explode. In Singapore, this means a smaller number of children (one or two) share the burden of taking care of there aging but longer lived parents. As for the childless, well too bad for them.

Anyway, Magen can't guarantee that you won't be labeled as a "know it all american neo-colonialist" by most of my fellow Singaporeans but with a little experience, you'll learn not to rub them the wrong way too much. If you do, thick skin certainly helps. Who knows, they might even be interesting. Take an MRT out into the HDB estates, you'll stick out like a Singaporean in middle America but hey what the heck.

Brad F. said...

@Cori: Has the government ever actually made an official release that there may be an end to Social Security? Or is it all just rumors and fear mongering? Honest question, cuz I don't know for sure.

France has the #1 health care system in the world, and it's national health care, albeit with a copay. I think that's good because it'll stop people from abusing the system.

As for people having "knee jerk" reactions, I think it's a symptom of deep seated inferiority complexes and ignorantly believing in the stereotype that all Americans are stupid and arrogant. Kinda funny in a place like Singapore though, that they would feel that way about us, when they do it to people from poorer countries themselves.

As far as I can tell, Megan hasn't posted anything near as inflammatory as I sometimes do, yet she seems to draw a much more vicious crowd. The same is true about a Swedish expat girl I know that blogs from China. They accuse her of being stupid and arrogant too. Or maybe they just like to pick on girls?

Durian does smell like rotting garbage! Even locals have said it to me, right after saying how much they like it. I had the extreme displeasure of accidentally biting into a durian pastry one time without realizing it and thought it had spoiled. Later my wife told me what I had eaten and I felt like brushing my teeth.

Singaporean boy in Texas: I live in Pasir Ris. Before that I lived in Tampines. I used to get these crazy looks, because not only am I a white guy, but I used to wear a beard. In both places it took me a while to blend into the scenery and I never get past all the strange looks. I've even had a kid point at me and get excited before.

Like with anywhere though, after a while you become a 'regular'. Heck, the lady that sells Kopi at the 24 hour hawker up the road and I are almost on a first name basis. ^_^

I'm not entirely sure what Megan's living situation is, but it seems like she's on some sort of government property. I'm actually living with a local family right now. It's very interesting, and enlightening. They're a lot of fun too.

I just really get tired of being stereotyped... Funny how that works. I wonder if it's how minorities feel in the US? Eh, well, soon Hispanics will be the majority in the US anyway...

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brad F. said...

Wow. I didn't catch half of what you said! Ha ha ha!

You seem to have made some pretty good points though.

I do miss cheap cheese, and especially swiss lorraine (I think that's what it's called). Can't be helped though, so I just eat what's available here.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cori said...

See? It's just the beginning...(insert ominous music)

Megan said...

How weird, I was just reading that article when you commented on here. Sometimes we're so alike it's scary...

Brad Farless said...

Well that sucks. I won't even be old enough to pull Social Security by 2037. I hope Obama can wave his magic wand and fix it too.

Jessica said...

Found you via the Blogher link on my blog - that is really interesting. I have never heard of such a law before, but I can sort of understand it considering Asian values and the importance of the family unit. I think that is not such a bad policy either, because at least the children are supporting their own family. In our welfare system, we all pay and might be supporting someone else's family. At least here, you know where the money is going!

Anonymous said...

Brad raised an interesting point: "I still think it should be a choice. Not compulsory. There are bad parents who would use it against their children as a weapon. Not to mention that I your kid is financially successful someone might decide to take an early retirement on purpose."

I think the general principle for the law based on "Asian value" is that in "Asian value", there is no such thing as children hating their parents. But if this is passed as a law, I would think that if the child can prove that the parent has never done his/her duty as a parent by raising him or there was abuse involved, the child can counter-sue.

The other side of the coin: my mother was telling me the other day, the government can make this a law - but how many parents can bring themselves to sue their children? As a parent myself, I know I can't do it.

Brad Farless said...

But what about those with no children?

tiredman said...

Singapore is a very competitive country with a fast aging population.

When individual living in this environment is always on his/her toes and hence receiving tremendous pressure from, (survival of the fittest) externally (foreigner) and internally (local people), people become very selfish, self-centered; People, no doubt fight for limited resources in this little dot, Singapore.

It is then not surprising that some selfish and self-centered children can do that to their parents. This point will be an addition to whatever is written above.

Of course, I still believe that the main problem lies in our very own education system.

Next, I hope that the gahman will allocate more resources to moral education as well as be more merciful to those unfortunate or disabled people. i.e subsidies transport fare for the disable.

There is a Chinese idiom said 上梁不正下梁歪 meaning the subordinate officials usually follows examples of their own superiors, thus it is logically hopeless to expect righteous officials within the lower ranks when the higher ranks are corrupted above them.

I would say life is not easy for the bottom 20% of our people. Neither do I believe the middle class group (should be around 60%) is having a better life.

Finally back to the issue, I do believe "filial piety" can be the greatest problem in Singapore and second to it will be the word "gracious" if no good policy that will have a positive effect (in the long run) to the society is in place. The gahman must take the lead.

So, is country that only focuses on GDP chase and little on welfare good or bad? I shall leave it to you guy to decide.

Brad Farless said...

Morals and values aren't taught to children in schools in the US either, except insomuch that they're taught to follow school rules. That responsibility is left up to the parents. It's obvious which kids are receiving proper education in that area and which aren't. I've often wondered if it wouldn't be better for there to be some mandatory education in that area at a young age in the US, along with some basic computer and internet education, but that's another story.

I can see how the competitiveness in Singapore would affect people, especially younger people who grew up in the environment.

What's a "gahman"?

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brad Farless said...

@TC: Uh oh! Is someone getting nasty again? ^_^ (with the 上梁不正下梁歪 I mean).

And, thanks for the explanation about "gahman". I'll avoid using it myself then.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tiredman said...

@ Brad Farless
I hope to see changes and hopefully there is.

Well, enjoy your stay in Singapore. Cheerzz... :)

Comment is not political. It is just an opinion on a situation. Please stop making personal attacks and personal judgment on me.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Singaporean boy in Texas said...

This article from Channel News Asia really highlights the strain on adult children in harsh economic times.

With no children I don't think you get even nursing homes. Actually, I suspect the government has some policy in place for the poor aged folk who are childless. Its just not publicized too much. Welfare is after all a bad word.

Brad F. :
Glad to you're out and about mixing it up with the natives! Took me forever to get out of my comfort zone. Even now I still haven't wrapped my head around the southern hospitality thing and all the small talk that it entitles. Still confusing people wherever I go.

Since Singlish lingo can be a little confusing, look up the Coxford Dictionary for your intercultural needs!

Brad Farless said...

@SG boy in Texas:

Welfare is a bad word, but everyone in the US expects it when they're older because we've all paid in on it, which is part of the problem. If Social Security were actually ended, there better be a damn good plan put in its place that doesn't require those who have paid in to pay as much as "newbies".

As for mixing it up with the natives, I still don't feel 100% comfy with it, though actually living with Singaporeans is making it easier. ^_^ I think the problem is more that I feel they wouldn't want me to get too comfortable with them than the other way around. Then again, I grew up in the South, so maybe I just expect too much in the way of what you call "small talk"?

And as for Singlish, I've given up on it. I did look at a few guides but there are enough words, and enough different meanings based on tone or situation, that I might as well not bother to learn it. I honestly don't plan on being in Singapore long enough, and besides, I'd be embarrassed to use Singlish in public. It would feel pretentious to me.

Anonymous said...

Trust an Ang Moh to miss the point the maintenance act. For the record, it is Asian culture to care for the elderly. Retirement homes are an invention of the West. All of us make a monetary contribution to our parents; totalled up, Dad actually get more than his baby-boomer's monthly check. But my sister, who married a Welshman, does not. Her husband tells her not to, as Dad has enough. That's not Asian. The issue of the maintenance act is about costly nursing homes, and that fact that the gahmen spends the minimal on healthcare and splurges on F-15 fighter jets. The horror stories one reads in the gahmen controlled press are there to support the official line. The reality is that, with the economic downturn, many do not have enough to feed themselves. Welfare benefit is $360 a month, do the math. A bed in a decent nursing home with medical staff averages $2,000 a month. Of course there are cheaper options that are not better than the Sago Lane death houses of the past. There's an article in today's papers about public hospitals increasing the price of medication. Have you seen the Michael Moore movie "Sicko"? The part about $120 medicine in the USA that sells for less than a dollar in Cuba? It's not that bad yet, but there's a reason why we call them gahmen instead of government. A decent government takes care of its citizens first, and panders to the foreign imports last.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - interesting you should mention this when an article just came out in the newspapers about how some children are NOT visiting their parents to avoid paying for nursing home fees.

A friend of mine who is a doctor said that hospitals are used as 'dumping grounds' before holidays sometimes. People try to check in their parents before going on holiday - including Chinese New Year.

I don't think it has anything to do with culture - Asian or otherwise. We can all pull out examples. I have a Singaporean friend married to a British man and HE makes the contributions to her parents. Conversely, just because there are some horrible Singaporean children, doesn't reflect on the majority of the population.

Also if your argument is that it is 'culture' to maintain your parents, then why do you need a law to enforce it?

I think that families are either close or they're not - and a lot of it has to do with the families/people involved themselves.

I came to know of an elderly woman who lived alone - she tried to claim for Maintenance under the Act, and was told she would have no claim. She had left her children when they were young though she did raise one of them subsequently till the girl got married. So I don't think it's that easy to enforce either.

Dawn said...

Oops clicked the wrong button - that was me!

Brad Farless said...

"Trust an Ang Moh to miss the point the maintenance act. For the record, it is Asian culture to care for the elderly. Retirement homes are an invention of the West."

So, if it's Asian culture to care for the elderly then why does there have to be an Act to enforce it? Shouldn't it come naturally and be done without the need of law? Or is it not so well bred into Asians in Singapore?

You're not the only one that can be an ass. Why did you feel the need to start your comment off with an insult?

Other than that, you make some good points. I know for a fact that there are a lot of Americans in the northern part of the country that go to Canada to fill prescriptions because it's so much cheaper. On the other hand, Canadians come to the US for medical procedures.

Hm. Looks like I just said what Dawn said in her comment.

Also, about what Dawn said, I'm an American and I support my wife in making contributions to her parents. I've seen how it is there and I see the need. We don't send a lot, because her parents have five children, but I don't disagree with the custom.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Megan said...

It still puzzles me as to why people cannot share their different opinion without being rude or arrogant.

I appreciate feedback, but I tend to stop reading when someone is just plain rude.

Please share your different opinion, just show the same respect that I am showing you. I don't agree with a lot of things in Singapore and other places, but I won't be rude to someone or call them names because I don't agree. I ask you to show the same courtesy.


TC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brad Farless said...

Ya. Don't get too upset about it. There seem to be a lot of people that have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Americans, or white folk in general. They start spewing stupidity before they even get a proper gauge of who the person is and often don't bother to read the whole post before going off half-cocked.

Singaporean boy in Texas said...

Magen :
Rudeness and xenophobia is alas the hallmark of the Singaporean blogsphere. Treat it like one of those town hall meetings where Obamacare get denounced as "nazi" or "communist" and don't you dare touch medicare added in. I even had a strange conversation once about how the coverage was all going to those "illegal Hispanics".

Anyhow, since there is little public space for airing grips about "Foreign Talents" steal our jobs or "Migrant Workers" being smelly and talking too loud, most it just gets dumped into the blogsphere. Worst bit is the lack of Astroturfers to pin the blame on.

Fun how bad behavior is the universal denominator.

Brad. F:
Exactly, the public debt due to social security is something the Singaporean Government is very keen to avoid. As mentioned in the following posts, there are social cost involved though. I don't think the typical Singaporean is aware how much social security is going to cost. The European model ate half my pay check, the American one a quarter I guess. Its not a trivial problem where you can wave a magic policy wand and everyone is taken care of. The money has to come from somewhere.

Yes, don't expect southern style small talk with Singaporeans! They may think you are trying to sell them something. That my knee jerk reaction anyhow and it really screws up any attempts at spontaneity even when I know they are just being friendly. Was told once that this is the New York mentality also. Maybe thinking like a Northerner might be easier.

As for Singlish, subtle stuff works. Megan being "thick skin" is certainly not idiomatic American English but it is grammatically correct at least. Knowing the words but not speaking it might be useful too.

Brad Farless said...

Oh geez. These people think Obama's healthcare plan is going to destroy the US. I talked to someone that tried to tell me Obama is the Antichrist and his healthcare plan is the first sign of the Apocalypse. I was like... "Are you serious????!!!" I can't believe people are that stupid.

I also can't believe they're stupid enough to think that a health care plan for American citizens is going to cover illegals. How can it? They don't have social security numbers to collect benefits.

I have noticed that commenters from Singapore are, more often than not, rude. It's like they think blogs are out here for them to vent their frustrations on and say the things they can't say in public. It's as if they don't realize that what they do and say here on the internet has real consequences, just like it does in the real world. Or maybe they simply don't care.

Funny. I don't recall SS every eating up a quarter of my paycheck. Not unless they've raised the tax recently anyway.

I lived in NYC for a while.

Anonymous said...

We do things differently here.. because its based on the beliefs of not the people, but 1 man.

Read more about his views, and you'll know more about Singapore:

“Now if democracy will not work for the Russians, a white Christian people, can we assume that it will naturally work with Asians?”
- Lee Kuan Yew, Asahai Shimbun symposium, May 9, 1991

“If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupt them earlier.”
- Lee Kuan Yew on political opposition, Straits Times, Sept 14 2003

“Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this”
- Lee Kuan Yew on the results of the 2006 election

More at

Anonymous said...

aiyah.. the original blog post was interesting but all ur comments here made it too political and boring..

Singaporean boy in Texas said...

Brad. F
Well, I guess such people exist in every society, crawling out of the wood work at town hall meetings or on to the blogsphere. I think there are some legitimate concerns about obamacare fiscally speaking although it is certainly a good idea in principal. The exact details will matter. Unfortunately, the crisis and the previous administration's tax cuts didn't exactly given him much room to maneuver. Pity really, when name calling just obscures these fundamental issues. Would have said that the best thing to do would be just ignore them but then I heard Senator Barney Fank's "On what planet do you spend most of your time?" put down to a Obamacare basher.

I have a pretty broad definition of what qualifies as social security. In the American case, I threw in employer health insurance, that comes automatically in Europe. No copay. Just one flat fee for almost anything. Actually, I would have to factor in the copay but that would be tough.

Anyhow, looks like this thread is winding down. Nice to meet other people in a reversed but oddly similar situation. Reading and replying to this stuff really helped put my own issues in context.

Being pressed up against each other physically all the time, we tend to have pretty insulated lives but given some time to open up I think the average Singaporean is a lot nicer. So have fun and enjoy the experience!

btw will pass through from time to time.

Brad Farless said...

@SG Boy in Texas: Yup, was a good conversation.

Take care, have fun, and be sure to drop by my blog as well from time to time, if you have time. I enjoy hearing your opinions.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the anonymous poster just 2 posts before me. I think the original blogpost was interesting, and the comments put the post in its rightful context - making this blogpost very insightful on the whole.

Anonymous said...

Well the law is not bad...I mean I have seen parents dumped by their children in nursing homes. Although some pay for their boarding fees, others simply don't. Some people here are just not filial. And filial piety is a great deal in Asian societies. Unfortunately, as Singapore becomes more materialistic, all those values are lost and so the law has to be enacted. It is not a matter of human rights or anything. If you work in the social services here (which is rather cash strapped and unregulated), you would realise that there are many elderly parents who are left financially abandoned by their adult children. Over here, the public assistance for the needy is so pathetic and little. In fact if you ask social workers around...they would agree that as intrusive the act may be it nevertheless protects the welfare of the elderly. Instances of abuse by children can be proven and use in court as evidence against non-payment.