Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Paying The Price for Freebies

An article about the poor in Singapore and how unconditional welfare assistance is given to them. According to the author, this has engendered an unhealthy dependence on welfare.

The author is of the opinion that assistance must be in terms of providing opportunity for the needy to increase their economic or social performance, rather than simply providing income supplements (give the man a fish vs teaching him to fish). And he recommends making the aid conditional - on repayment and / or other qualification criteria which the recipient will eventually graduate out of - in order to prevent the development of a welfare or handout mentality.

As I read this, I realised that we can draw obvious parallels between this situation and our New Economic Policy (NEP) or NEarly aPartheid in Malaysia.

I find the author's references to Bangladesh's poverty eradication efforts particularly inspiring. The man responsible for this program was recently awarded a Nobel Prize no less. Malaysia can learn so much from Bangladesh... damn, I can't believe I actually said that. But it's true.

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1 comment:

Timmy said...

Sean, got a movie u gotta watch in 2007. Check it out !!