July 18, 2011

SINGAPORE: Spare a thought for our elderly

SINGAPORE / AsiaOne / The Newspaper / News / Mailbox / July 18, 2011

I CANNOT understand why our two transport operators (SBS Transit and SMRT) are seeking an increase in public transport fares when they reap huge profits year in and year out.

We hear the same record being played over and over again when these operators want to justify an increase in fares: rising fuel costs.

If our transport operators are in the red, then it makes sense to increase fares. However, there is absolutely no justification to do so now.

The high cost of living has affected many of our citizens, especially the needy and the elderly sick.

A report, "1 in 3 elderly S'poreans not eating right" (The Straits Times, July 15) paints a depressing picture of how our lonely elderly are at risk of suffering from malnutrition.

How could this happen in a first-world country like Singapore?

Recreation is so important for our seniors and many of them depend on public transport to travel. This group of Singaporeans has limited savings and need to be prudent with their spending.

By increasing fares, these seniors will have to cut down on travelling to meet friends and going for outings.

Why deprive the senior citizens a chance to live a fruitful life?

Even if our transport operators are bent on increasing fares, I urge the Public Transport Council to not increase the fares for seniors who have hit 60, as every dollar matters to them.

Copyright © 2011. Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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