When the government talked about building ramps in public housing estate, it is a very bold statement considering 80% of Singaporean lives in HDB flat and a very welcome one indeed. I don’t know whether it is common in Malaysia but in Singapore we often see senior citizens being wheeled around by their children or maids in shopping centers, hawker centers etc. As a caregiver to my late father, it was no easy task pushing a wheel chair through a neighbourhood full of kerbs and steps. A small ramp is hardly noticeable to the able bodied but it is a highway to a freedom that we take for granted. An unassisted visit to the neighbourhood barber, coffee shop, bank teller machine etc put the “Quality” back into the life of these group of people. Indeed on a personal level, I look forward to these handicap-friendly measures, as my mother who is pushing 90 will definitely need a wheel chair to move around in a few years time.
Singapore is not well endowed like its neighbours. We need all able bodies as well as those not so “abled’ to power the economy. Hence, it is a move in the right direction to make Singapore more handicap-friendly. The handicaps are leading a more normal life now and are more mobile. No hot statistic to prove my point but my observation of a couple crossing the road last week in a pair of wheel chairs tell me that Singapore is kiasu, in this case, in the right direction.
kiasu = scare to lose