Monday, October 15, 2012

Man charged with stealing tins of baby milk powder

I read with a tinge of sadness that a 31-year old man has been charged over stealing few tins of baby milk powder at a “Shop-N-Save” outlet in Sembawang. The man could face 7-years of imprisonment if found guilty.

While there have been cases of theft every now and then, I feel particularly upset at this case as what the man has stolen is food for his baby. How would the baby feel if his father is really sentenced to jail as a result of stealing something that he (the baby) needs? I am afraid that the baby would grow up with a sense of guilt that he has caused his father to be in this sorry state of being jailed! The baby may become remorseful as a result of his father’s deed.

I understand that a tin of baby milk powder is not cheap; in fact it is rather expensive at around $50 per tin and some more with inflation, several baby milk powder brands has seen prices increases by a few percentage points. While I am not able to deduce the financial situation of the man and his family, I understand that for a family with a modest total household income of say $2,000 to $3,000, few tins of baby milk powder can be quite financially taxing on the whole family’s monthly financial budget.

I must however highlight that the above should not exonerate the man from theft as theft is definitely something not correct, it is a crime and that the man should be punished.

What I am more concerned with arising from the above theft case is whether the segment of Singapore’s population which finds itself hard to catch up with the rest of the more affluent Singapore is getting larger and larger. There have been anecdotal evidence and statistics to show that the income disparity in Singapore is getting wider: while more people are getting more affluent, a portion of our Singaporeans do not see their incomes growing and worse, some may even see their incomes shrink if they find themselves being sacked from their jobs.

As a working employee fully employed, I can really sense that nowadays jobs are not easy to get and well-paying jobs are even harder to get with the influx of foreigners into our shores. Hence no matter how much I do not like my current job due to the management, system and culture, I will for now have to endure ALL, just to bring that loaf of bread to my family’s dining table. At the same time, I have to think of an alternative to get out of this rat race or to enhance my prospects of employability.
With the global economy dragging its feet, I am not sure whether there will be a global recession soon but what I am sure of is; when that recession comes, more and more Singaporeans, even the average-incomers may be affected as compared to the past. Well, why do I say so?

Well, while incomes of most Singaporeans have not been increasing over the past few years, I really think the expenditures of many of us have increased more than proportionately. This is really due to the many “temptations” around us which requires us to spend more: think of the many new fancy hyper shopping centres, the plethora of IT gadgets, i-phones, ipads, this and that. As a result of that, I am not sure whether Singaporeans have more savings to tide over an economic recession when one arises?

At this juncture, I feel that I have written too much for this post. As a summary, I believe each of us should work hard to the fullest of our potentials, avoid negative thoughts and acts, save for a day when you may need liquidity, overcome temptations and above all, live life to the fullest!

Enjoy your Day!

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