Transcript – AFP news: 76 year old scavenger in Singapore

2 Sep

Excerpt transcript of news report:

… Zheng [Jie Wo] been living off the streets for about 7 years. There’s no free healthcare in Singapore and her late husband’s medical bills left her destitute. She survives on selling scrap but even those meagre earnings are under threat. The economic recession has hit the recycling industry hard.

Zheng: Three months ago, the price of recycles was higher. I could earn 10 dollars at least a day. maybe more. The prices are dropping, dropping, dropping. And now a lot lower. Recyclables are selling only for a few dollars now.

… ….

The Singapore Buddhist Lodge provides free meals three times a day. They’ve seen numbers increase 40 % in the last few months. People save money, anyway they can.

Lee Bock Guan, President of Singapore Buddhist Lodge: The government in Singapore isn’t welfare orientated. They won’t give you money if you are in trouble. You have to rely on your own diligence. The only jobs that people can find are labour-intensive jobs like sweeping the floor. They don’t care what the salary is as long as they can earn some kind of money.

Back in the alley, Zheng faces a new worry. Thieves making a quick buck stealing her scrap. At least, Zheng has no options but to sleep by her trolley, to protect the precious little that she has left.

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2 Responses to “Transcript – AFP news: 76 year old scavenger in Singapore”

  1. roger matthews September 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    All city’s have their down and outs especially big ones.To LKY and the PAP’s discredit they just don’t care. Most Singaporeans that care have left.

  2. joni September 4, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    A country like Singapore should have a safety net to help the elderly. And then you see the obscene amounts of money that the politicians pay themselves.

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