Photo of elderly with Lee Hsien Loong taken at Toa Payoh from States Times Review

A 70-year-old Singaporean cleaner with several chronic ailments slipped from a ladder and died while he was cleaning glasses of ancestral tablets at a columbarium. The elderly poor, Lai Seow Wah, has been a cleaner for Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng Columbarium for the past 8 years and on July 1 this year, he was found lying on the ground next to a 1.8m A-frame ladder.

According to the cleaning supervisor, he has told Lai Seow Wah not to use the ladder because the old man was old and walked with a limp. When the supervisor found Lai Seow Wah on the floor, the latter was conscious but could not speak. He vomited once before the ambulance arrived but died the next day due to head injuries.

Elderly retirees in Singapore are commonly forced to work for a living due to the lack of a social security system. The retirement CPF system is a failure that is unable to meet with the cost of living in Singapore which happens to be the most expensive in the world according to a survey by Mercer International in 2016.