I am currently on a hiatus from social media, and my phone will be turned off most of the time, if not all the time. The last time I did this was in 2017. Setbacks after setbacks have forced me to take a drastic measure, as it was increasing noisy that I cannot hear myself. It turned out to be beneficial, in a way. When I finally came out of seclusion, I became a Trainee Instructor. I hope that this time round, by the end of it, I would have accomplished something.

This time around, it was not exactly some traumatising event or whatsoever. Rather, I think it is a good time to pause and think and focus on some of the things that I have on hand. And I think it might be good to just shut up for a while. After all, I am naturally quite a vocal person. Despite that I would love to just simply travel to some remote place where no one knows me, it is just not possible now, at least not with the commitments that I have on hand. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot try to make this happen in another manner. Something different but achieves the same purpose, somewhat.

I recently attended a leadership dialouge with a public figure. During the session, it was shared that there was this couple who was asked to justify each and every transaction in their bank record statement. It was so disturbing that they in the end, decide not to apply for the financial aid. During the dialouge, I cannot help but to share my own experience. Because baby has to go though dialysis, and because dialysis does not remove all toxins from her body in which her neurological development may be impacted, we have to send her for early intervention. It is an additional few hundred dollars per month on top of all the additional expenses that we incur now due to her condition.

During the conversation about financial assistance, I told the administrator that whatever that we qualify for, we would appreciate the help. But we would not want to apply for anything that is “out of the norm” because I do not want to go to the extent of justifying each of my expenses. Imagine that I applied for financial assistance, and people start to question if I am driving, what kind of house do I live in, etc. It would be very upsetting.

On the other hand, I do understand the need for such checks. When public funds are used, they must be used wisely and with prudence. This is not a simple problem to solve, because while we have some who should receive help and are not getting them, we have people who are abusing the funds as well. To come out with a system that is foolproof is almost unachievable because each case has its own merits. Say for myself, most of my assets are purchased before we know that baby has some health issue. And to liquidate them requires not only time; it may not even make sense. Would you want to sell your house at a loss? No one would. Although I do know that eventually if I cannot afford it, I will have to.

It doesn’t make it any easier when there are policies in your way. For example, for those who sell their private houses, they must not apply for a new government flat within a certain period of time, even if they have previously not enjoyed any grants. I am not saying that this policy is wrong, it is obviously there for some reason. But it is definetely something that we have to consider.

What I am afraid of is that during the dialogue, I may not have stated clearly enough what my thoughts are, which is why I wanted to clarify here. While I do not enjoy the process of scrutiny, I do understand why it is necessary to do so. I guess the question is where is the balance.

Categorized as Thoughts

By ben@sgben.com

Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me more profound insights. Entering a secondary school infested with secret societies in the earlier days exposed me to a different side of Singapore. I graduated well despite having a volatile phase. I chose one of the youngest polytechnics despite having a score good enough for JC, even as others tell me it is not recognised, and I would not make it into university through that path. During my National Service, I also went through a difficult phase of rediscovering the purpose of serving. My university was another defining chapter, spanning over nine years, involving many adventures and endeavours. As you can see, I seldom bother myself with dogmas. I strongly believe in Steve Job's speech at Stanford University. I hope to lead others by example, inspire them to do the same and empower the decisions they have to make in their lives. Reach me at sgBen.com.

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