Friday, August 21, 2009

Filial (Im)piety

The story broken by local Chinese daily, Sin Chiew, and picked up by many other newspapers yesterday - the one out of Singapore about an elderly couple in Jurong forced to make the staircase of a school their home - was truly depressing.

The unfortunate duo (a retired manager and his wife) gave up their duplex to their only son as a wedding gift two years ago, hoping the newlyweds would invite Ma and Pa to stay and look after them in their old age.

The son and his wife did for a year, before selling off the property for close to a million ringgit to buy another condo. That done, the ungrateful son then packed his parents off to stay with their other child, a daughter.

A year down the road, the daughter too decided they weren't welcome after all. She callously changed the locks to keep them out. Homeless now, the wargamas couple had no option but to seek shelter on the staircase of a school.

This lamentable story came to light when the couple related their predicament to the school's secretary.

To think it was their own flesh and blood who did this is beyond belief. What kind of offsprings did they spawn? Heartless doesn't even begin to describe them.

Why didn't the children just abandon the parents in a charity shelter somewhere if they sayang their money so much, not wanting to fork out a single sen to park those sorry souls in an old folks home?

Whatever the parents' fault, I think turning a couple in their twilight years into the streets to fend for themselves is extremely cruel. Even unwanted pets get sent to the SPCA.

Last I heard (some years back this was), the Singapore Government had wanted to introduce a law that would make it a crime for children to abandon their parents.

That sounds just about right, coming out of ultramodern, uberdeveloped, metropolitan but soulless Singapore, where ageing (and jobless) Mom and Dad can be a real cramp to one's lifestyle.

Blame it on that unabashedly crude and materialistic "Singapore Dream", summarised by what is known as the Five Cs; Cash, Credit card, Car, Condo, Country club.

Sadly, they have forgotten to stack up the chips of the more important Cs - Caring, Concern, Consideration - the ones that would serve them well beyond this transient world.


Zendra said...

This is all so sad, Kama, that the teachings of one other big C - Confucius, had been totally ignored.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Ramadhan - let's look out for Lailatul Qadr, a night of 1000 nights ;)

Pi Bani said...

Inilah yang orang kata... one mother can take care of 10 children, but 10 children can't even take care of one mother. In this case, the least the children could have done was to send the parents to an old folks home.

May you have a blessed Ramadhan!

Pp said...

huh, this sort of things happened??
unbelievably cruel!

tapi kan..LiL & I often discussed about growing old, without burdening our children.
one business idea came to mind - kami nak buka 'old folks center for warga mas yang ada duit tapi memerlukan kasih sayang'

apa kata, jika kita partner-ship!


The Plagiarist said...

it is happening here in malaysia too.

Kama said...

Zendra, Pi - very sad, indeed, and tq for the Ramadhan wishes.

Pp - Good idea! We'll open two; one for poor and theother for the rich, with the first financed by the profits of the second.. hehehe

Plagiarist - i guess we do hv this at our doorstep too, although i hv yet to read abt it. mustbe a reflection of the changing times (and sensibilities).. tq for dropping by..

melayudilondon said...

Kak Kama, that is dreadful! And I feel ashamed for them. Strangely, I do agree that Singapore is a highly materialistic place and they did forget to other Cs as you mentioned.

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Puteri

This is not the first time I am hearing it. Have heard similar story in Msia too. Hopefully our anak anak tahu nak appreciate kita and take care of us when we grow older.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Pp..I wish I have lots of money so that I can build a retirement village so that I and my single friends can live close to each other when we are much older.This concept of a retirement home is so common in New Zealand how I wish they have it here too.

Naz said...

siapa sangka kan anak anak boleh buat macam gitu bila dah besar...sedih la.

Salam Ramadan, Kak Puteri.

Anonymous said...

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