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Why I like Seah Kian Peng

In Uncategorized on 27/06/2018 at 10:51 am

Yesterday in Why Seah Kian Peng is right to say he’s “left of centre”, I said I would explain why I like Seah. I like him because he doesn’t let the Hard Truths of hypocrisy, morality and groupthink stand in the way of attempts to help an unfortunate group of S’poreans: unmarried single mothers.

In TRELand when the cybnenuts talk of unmarried mums, they compare them to prostitutes. Even PAP ministers, MPs and the IBers don’t go that far. They juz say “Undeserving poor. They bring it on themselves. Promoting moral hazard to help them.”

And sadly many, many S’poreans agree with them and the TRE cybernuts.

But Seah (and a few other MPs like Lily Neo) joins NGOs in trying to help them, and in trying to get the PAP and society to change their views on these “fallen” women. Power to him and the others.

Over the years, he has also spoken up for more assistance for unmarried single mothers.

In 2016, the Ministry for Social and Family Development finally announced that the Government is ready to extend the full 16-week maternity leave accorded to married mothers, to single mothers as well.

Their children also now have access to a Child Development Account, a savings scheme to help pay for childcare and healthcare costs.

MPs and women’s rights groups spent years campaigning for this and other benefits.

Mr Seah feels even more can be done to address their needs.

Unmarried mothers still do not get the Baby Bonus cash gift and parenthood tax rebates that even widows and divorcees, receive. When it comes to housing, they have to wait until they turn 35 to buy an HDB flat under the singles scheme.

“The challenges of raising children by themselves is already hard enough. But they have to still think about something as basic as housing. So on our part as a Government, how can we help?”

The Government has traditionally been cautious about equalising benefits for this group as it says doing so could send out the wrong signals.  A common argument is that such a move might be seen as condoning having children out of wedlock.

“Frankly, I don’t believe in this. But even if as a result, one or two people start thinking along those lines, so be it. We shouldn’t stop ourselves from helping people just because we fear a small group could end up abusing a policy.”

This concept should apply to every policy, he says, including to how much help should be given to the low-income in society and how even means-testing to assess a person’s eligibility for assistance is conducted.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/seah-kian-peng-mp-marine-parade-ceo-ntuc-fairprice-on-the-record-10459284

 

 

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  1. […] – The Online Citizen: Can President Halimah Yacob rise above the stigma of #notmypresident? – Sgpolitics.net: Malaysia vs Singapore – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Why I like Seah Kian Peng […]

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