According to the latest statistics from the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), more Singaporean elderly are turning to suicide to avoid financial hardship and poverty. A total of 197 elderly Singaporeans above the age of 50 committed suicide, accounting for 46% of all suicides, in 2016. This is a 19% jump as compared to 2016.
More shocking, the total number of suicides also jumped 20% in a single year to 429 cases in 2016. SOS highlighted that they are getting more suicidal calls from elderly Singaporeans and the most common problem is poverty:
“For the past five years, around 30 to 33 per cent of calls received on the SOS 24-hour hotline were from callers in the 50-and-above age group. Stressors cited by these callers include employment issues, financial worries, family relationships, mental health, physical and psychological impairment and chronic health problems. Males in their fifties are especially vulnerable, as they “experience significant life changes” and transitions, such as retrenchment, financial issues and retirement.”
Singapore elderly’s poverty is largely brought by the failed retirement system CPF, which is locked by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Under the dictator PM, interests rate is kept at a record low of 2.5%, withdrawal age increased from 55 to 65 and minimum withdrawal limit doubled to S$166,000.
Lee Hsien Loong controls the access of CPF money through his premiership position overseeing the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Ministry of Finance. The dictator also controls the country’s President through the creation of a presidential’s adviser council, and by endorsing the election of the president. In addition to the conflict of interests, Lee Hsien Loong also sits as the Chairman of sovereign wealth fund (SWF) company, GIC, while his wife is CEO of the other SWF, Temasek Holdings. The Lee Hsien Loong government hence has unlimited access to the usage of CPF funds through legalised corruptions.
According to SOS, young people in Singapore are also stressed by poverty, and many are affected by the working hours in Singapore:
“Stressors cited include studies or work, unemployment, financial worries, family life, struggles with social interactions and feelings of loneliness.”