Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A testimony from a Canadian Ex-Singaporean

For archival purposes as well as for readers' interest. Something from a comment left by (64) Wing Lee Cheong on December 24th, 2009 7.35 am) on TOC article “I kept quiet. Just weep. What else?” (original blog entry on the topic from Lucky Tan at A Singaporean Mind). This is something I would like to remember, whether I ultimately choose to flee or fight the Singapore system.

The welfare systems between Singapore and Canada is a comparison between Hell and Heaven. The following is a testimony by an ex-Singaporean who has a special need child. This testimony will open the eyes of many Singaporeans who are fooled into believing Singapore has the one of the best welfare in the world:


In Singapore, one can go bankrupt if there is a major illness in the family and need to be hospitalized in the blood sucking hospitals. I say blood sucking I mean it. When my daughter went for a heart operation (congenital defect), we need to phone our relatives to combine blood donation back to the blood bank.

As we ward her, the P.A.P. really started showing its true meaning….PAY-AND-PAY. Because my daughter’s defect and other multiple illnesses were/are congenital, our life insurance agent group health would not cover! Wow! All hell broke loose. We did not have CPF medisafe bec. we were self-employed, then no insurance. I remember vividly standing at the registration counter of the SGH LIMITED.. since I did not have all the usual coverage, she asked for my credit card and got me to sign on the BLANK copy and told me they will charge me later. I was signing a “BLANK CHEQUE”! Can you imagine how heavy my heart was when I was walking back to admit my daughter! The ghostly question kept ponding on me: “How much? But my daughter is more important! But how much!? How Much!!!!?”

When she was born in Feb 1988 it was not privatized but 2 years later when she went for all these treatments and operations it was coincidently privatized by the PAP govt….damn. To me most of the doctors and facilities were the same before and after privatizing and yet the medical bill were like earth and hell difference. Why? We felt cheated by LKY.

Not long after we landed in Canada, we received a letter (I kept it till today so that I will show my great grandchildren later) from the University of Alberta Hospital. It gave us two full-days of schedule with all those professors and sepcialists…from heart, hearing, speech, ear name it we have it there…to check on my 3 year old Singapore-born daughter. Again (like the same scene in the SGH) on the day of the medical check-ups I went over to the registration desk. After the white receptionist helped me to fill up all the forms, I sheepishly asked her: “How much must I pay for all these professors and specialists check-up on my daughter?” Listen, listen listen to the answer, ready?: “Sir it is FREE. It is under Alberta Health Care.”
What!!? I could not believe her…I have not even paid my first Alberta Health Care premium (that time we need to pay about Can $100 per month for a family) and not a single cent of tax and yet we got FREE real professional check-ups for my daughter! I almost cried! The receptionist did not ask for my credit card. It was/is FREE!!!!!

Now just imagine as I was walking back to my wife and daughter from the registration desk…How light hearted I was. I did not need to ask “HOW MUCH!?” The Christian song “Jesus loves me this I know” played in my played in my heart and soul. All I can see was “my daughter was/is important and she was/is well taken care of by the Canadian government.” Same daughter, same illness but in a different country and heaven and hell difference. Lucky we immigrated to Canada. Lucky. Pure luck.

In the ward, as I look at my sweat daughter laying on the bed, I just wounder why not all Singaporeans immigrate out of the shit hole. They don’t know how much they had been cheated by LKY.

When I tell you how my special needs daughter are taken care of in school and now as an adult with handicap you will not believe it at all…or rather refuse to believe it. How can it be so good? Impossible.

At kindergrader her class had only 7 special needs kids but they were taken care of by a full-time teacher, an assistant and watch over by a nurse and a specialist for special needs kid!

Fast forward. On reaching 18, she is given a monthly inflation-indexed allowance of Sin $1,500 (C$1+S$1.3), free medical and drugs, free dentistry and glasses (Sin $ 400 every 2 yrs). She can enroll for all kinds of studies and even dance, swim or social dance … all paid for..yea FREE. Monthly bus is half price at Sin$45 per month …unlimted bus and train travel.

If she is out of job, the social service will immediately find her a suitable job. Now she works 1 to 2 days a week in the Dollar Shop to do stuffing and packing…earning about sin$400 per month…no tax and no crawl back as it too low an income. So total monthly allowance+income about Sin$2,000.

I always tell Singaporeans that it takes alot of courage to emigrate out of Singapore but it takes even more courage to live in Singapore!

Just imagine your child or grandchild living with a major congential defect and needs contant health care supervision like my daughter. Or your love ones is still in coma after 2 years.
What would it cost you? Let them die? Let your own son die? LKY and the ministers with their $million pay + bonus can probably afford it but can you? Watch the show “Money not enough part 2″ … the scene of the dying mother and the worry over her medical bill…you would say “NO lah this wound not happen to me lah.” What if it really happens? Commit suicide? Pray that your love ones (son and daughter) die fast?

Canada is not a perfect place but you know for sure that it is not Singapore where if you do not die in the hospital, you will die of shock by just looking at the hospital bill!

Open to the idea of emigrating out of Singapore. You can search for all the options but getting out of the shit hole is the best one. Look if you do made a BIG mistake after obtaining a Canadian or Australina citizenhip you can always to back to Singapore as FT…they treat you better…yea same person but being treated better just because you change your citizenship.

“Men cannot discover new horizons with loosing sight of the land.” Are you prepared to loose the sight of Singapore and the damn sight of Lee Kuan Yew contantly appearing in the Straits Times front page?

We are not taking about politics here, we are talking about happy laughter of our children and grandchildren playing in the snow. We are talking about focusing on how to have our children get well in the hospital without worrying over the hospital bills.

We are talking about giving ourselves our children’s children a choice of freedom. Straits Times might write ghost stories about Canadian crimes, drugs, school shootings…all bad nothing good…as a Cantonese saying: “Not worth a grain of rice”. But in reality we are at least 10,000 times bigger than the red dot., we have four seasons, we have fresh air, we do not need to drink shit water….most important WE ARE CANADIANS…damn proud CANADIANS!

“A mind is like parachute…it works best when OPEN”

The name of the writer is kept confidential to protect the rights of the child. This is a true case as I know the writer personally.

The situation described looked like a reasonable one based on what I understand of the Canadian and Singapore systems (however little). I cannot, however, be 100% certain this is a true or a typical scenario for people in that same situation.

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