Die Can, Sick Cannot

So says the wise sage. So the people work for the prosperity of the country all our lives, with our lives, until the day our physical shell decided to call it a day. 

When the body refused to give way in a snap, a 95 old veteran had to take upon herself by committing suicide to stop herself being a financial burden to her family with medical bills. The 95 year old ex-Samsui woman, wasn't just another woman on the street. She would be a character far bigger than any of us today. For a living, she carried bricks and sand for 42 years in construction sites. Most of us won't even last 4 days doing that today. If that wasn't enough to the country to ask from a citizen, she answered the call of the government to work beyond retirement age and spent another 20 years working in a coffee shop. Such a character will be regarded as a legend in the games and fantasy world, the warrior who stomped on the trial of time like a boss.

The grandmother was Lu Dai Hao, one of the Samsui women who contributed to the success of the country. Some touted the this generation as "Nation Builders." The press even found out she was featured and commemorated in a short clip for the 2007 National Day celebration. Her children told them that their mother was unwilling to further burden them financially after a 3-week hospitalisation a few months ago and took her life 2 weeks ago.

How many of us will shrug this story aside without feeling for the woman? Whether committing suicide is a cowardly or courageous act has always been debatable but for a woman who faced challenges during trying times for almost a century, her suicide could not been a cowardly one. The motivation behind her suicide wouldn't be anything else out of love for her family and it takes tremendous courage to leave your beloved for good, without the chance to say goodbye. If granny had survived her suicide, she would be fined for her attempt as it suicide is illegal in Singapore. Fortunately the gods are willing to take her so she died peacefully and finally redeemed her freedom.

Why does things have to end up this way for the Boxers of our farm, model citizens who comply with the vision of the government? Why are we unwilling to take care of the medical needs of the people, whom we cite as the only precious resource of the country? Would Lee Kuan Yew, who confidently stated that Singaporeans would be healthier and happier if we worked as long as we could, claim that granny took her life out of happiness? How can our Ministers say we are unable to give the people good healthcare coverage while we have hundreds of billions sitting in our reserves? How can they sleep soundly at night and tell us there is no poor in Singapore?

It is often said that when we look at our children, we can see our future. In Singapore, we see our future when we look at our elderly. I hope you like what you see.


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  2. > For a living, she carried bricks and sand for 42 years in construction sites. Most of us won't even last 4 days doing that today.

    Yet the Singapore societal norm continues to look down on blue-collar jobs and insisting that they are paid a pittance. IMHO, the high (and still increasing) income inequity is a major policy error that will eventually return Singapore to 3rd-world status.

  3. There is a difference between working in a posh office and under the bright, hot sun. If he does not agree, he is free to try it out.

  4. Why an old folk who has given her youth in building a developed nation will commit suicide over worries of the medical bill? It is a shame to Singapore. Anyway I think the Wayang minister will couldn't care less. At lest, a lesser mouth to complaint about their world class policy. It is very sad indeed. May she rest in peace!

  5. I was telling Australians whats one thing I can share with Australians being a Singaporean?

    "can die cannot sick" like ur title. guess what, their face was horrified and some even say I was a little too extreme.
    I replied I wasn't joking, especially clear on this motto when my own parent got into NUH after a trauma. first thing, they did was to franicality call the family members by calling my mum's own mobile number *roll eyes* just to make sure she can pay for the hospital bill before she can get to see a doctor for serious head concussion.

    of course there are side stories on bills on the day when she was allowed to discharge. things like they actually charge us extra 1 more night becos we pay the bills 1 min late. excuseme! that's like so not fair when there was a large Q on the counter and the doctor was last minute in clearing her papers.

    the part where, she wasn't allowed to leave the bed until there is a wheelie, they couldn't find one and charge us on that. that's not all thou, but I shall leave it as it is. that's enuff for readers to know how the system worked! that's NUH for u ok??!!!