A Message to Toh Yi and Woodlands Residents

Yayy, we are NOT the unwanted who have outlived our usefulness!

Residents in the Toh Yi vicinity signed petitions objecting to the construction of studio apartment blocks for the elderly.

All kinds of reasons were quoted. Some were rather original. Most were merely excuses. Very lame excuses.

Not long before this, residents in Woodlands objected to the construction of an elder care center near their apartments.

Again, there was no shortage of excuses, er, I mean, “reasons” from those who objected.

Granted, old people don’t become cuter as they age; instead we become slow, unwell and cantankerous. Some of us even smell, and none of us are eye candy any more.

Some of us get thrown into old age homes and are then abandoned.

Some of us have ungrateful children who wish we would die faster so they no longer have to put up with us.

There is some truth in the old Chinese saying that the longer you are unwell, the less filial your kids become.

To be perfectly honest, some of us wish we had died earlier indeed – with the way society discriminates against us, it is not surprising that we feel this way.

The moment we hit a certain age, no company would want to hire us. They rather hire inexperienced fresh grads at a lower pay, kids still wet behind the ears but willing to bust their asses for companies.

Sometimes we get job offers, but then they tell us not to expect to get the same pay we’ve been getting.

Sometimes they tell us to “re-tool” – so policemen become security guards, engineers become taxi drivers and the rest of us work in fast food joints.

The future is bleak for the elderly in Singapore unless you were a scholar or a retired government minister or you were once a very senior ranking officer in the armed forces or civil service or a retired member of parliament – in other words, a member of “the establishment” or part of the ruling elite, someone from the inner sanctum.

And because we’ve been told to “buy” and “own” those government-built apartments, many of us ordinary Singaporeans don’t have enough in our retirement funds to see us through our sunset years.

And because health care costs are so high – not everyone can get a bypass for eight bucks – it is actually cheaper to die than to get sick in Singapore.

Still we suck it all up!

I have friends my age who actually say “Wah we are so lucky we still have jobs” and they say it with such a grateful attitude.

That is pure bullshit. This is defeatist thinking.

Damn it, why shouldn’t we get jobs?

At our age, we are at the height of our mastery in whatever we do; our tacit knowledge is backed up by our maturity, stability and our sense of right and wrong.

We are at our best – this is the stage where companies can really benefit from what we know and what we can do.

Sure, some old people are a pain in the ass – they have bad attitudes, can be rather long-winded and are often just plain assholes, but those are the exceptions.

The greatness of a country is judged by how it treats its elderly.

A day may come when I may need help just to move around.

A day may come when I may have to be fed through a tube in my nose.

A day may come when I may need to wear diapers.

A day may come when I may even have to pee and shit into a bag.

A day may come when I may have pus-emitting bed sores or festering wounds on my body.

Will you still love me?

More importantly, what will Singaporeans think of me?

Not much I think.

I will be a major source of embarrassment – a sight best kept away, a burden best cast aside. An irritant.

If those Toh Yi and Woodlands residents and how they react to studio apartments and care centers for the elderly are an indication of how typical Singaporeans regard their elderly, I will kill myself the moment I become terminally ill, infirm and senile. I won’t live an extra day so that you can start your stupid protests. Don’t worry, I will do you a big favor by offing myself. I will jump from the tallest building in town or walk into a truck or leap in front of a SMRT train – no matter what I will never become a burden to anyone. If necessary, I may even organize a mass suicide for people in the same boat as me.

Toh Yi and Woodlands residents who oppose studio apartments and care centers for the elderly, I hope you will stay young forever, that you’ll never grow old yourself, you fucking ingrates.

Remember what goes around comes around, a day will come when the younger generation will treat you the same way you treat the elderly now.

As for me, I will be looking down from heaven, having my last laugh as you get your well-deserved comeuppance.

Now suck that up!

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