Being Physically Challenged in Singapore
Singaporeans are an efficient bunch. They try to maximize all resources at least cost. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and David Ricardo will be proud.
For instance, when they see an empty parking lot that is meant for the physically challenged, the train of thought that has been drilled into them since primary school goes something like this....
Empty parking lot => Waste of space => waste of resources => cost with no benefit => economy is affected => jobs will be lost => Singapore will sink
A similar thinking process is triggered when a suggestion to modify public buses to accommodate the physically challenged is raised. One response says that the “disabled are too demanding”. And the letter writer has this to say….
Like it or not, any delay has a cost in terms of longer travel times. Wheelchair users would need more time to board and alight from buses and this would hold up other passengers. Being patient and understanding is one thing. Being late for work because of it is another.
Oh ya, I forgot that able-bodied Singaporeans have a very important job to do every morning and if some physically challenged people get up in the public buses delaying them by a few minutes, the world will come to an end. When able-bodied Singaporeans see that they have to circle around the car park trying to find a lot, their fellow physically challenged citizens have it easy. “Where is the meritocracy?” they ask.
The Singaporean motto: we can show compassion but it has to be efficiently executed
For the people who really want to know what it means to be in a wheelchair and move around Singapore, read this from a blogger who “is thankful to be alive”.