Is Jolovan Wham telling the Government to give up helping the needy?

Recently an article by Jolovan Wham caught my attention – “Appreciating the role structural injustice plays in perpetuating poverty”. Just the title alone left me in doubt that he was once a social worker. In his entire gibberish article, he is politicalizing the needy families. First he agreed that intrusive questions on how families spent the financial aid should be asked. Then he added that the laws and policies should change to allow only those who are privileged to ask.

By allowing only people with privilege to ask, it is as good as putting on more red tapes to reduce efficiency of social workers to help more families. I believe our social workers in Singapore are well trained enough to know what kind of assistance the families need. The social workers need to balance between public scrutiny on how tax payer money is being used vs how much can they help the needy families by giving them what they need.

Point here is I believe only those who wants to be help can be helped. If people chose to remain to live on financial aids and not make any effort to break out of the poverty cycle, to be honest there is pretty much nothing social workers can do. At this moment, should we then just give up on these people and move on? No, because that is not what Singapore government is. However, Jolovan Wham is making use of these people to demoralise the social workers, telling them that it is the government fault because the current laws and policies are creating more poverty.

Is Jolovan Wham is implying that government is giving too much attention and funds to these people and that caused them to rely on the financial aid hence the current laws and policies should be amended? That does not sound very encouraging nor helpful, as it will only undermine all the hard work and efforts of all the social workers who have put in their heart and soul to help these families go through the tough times. Besides, our current system in place has in fact helped many break through the poverty cycle.

Since Jolovan Wham feels that the current law and policies is the root of poverty in Singapore, why is he not proposing any options or ways the current policies and laws can be amended. It is always easy to blame the system than yourself, when you yourself is the real failure.

Editor note: Talk is cheap.


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