Forum: Dream of a kampung ecosystem

Volunteers deliver food to a beneficiary on April 30, 2018.
Volunteers deliver food to a beneficiary on April 30, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

I am heartened by the new work group that has been set up involving stakeholders from the Government and community groups to tackle food issues (Multi-agency work group to tackle food insecurity, food waste, Nov 4).

In recent months, there have been a few stories in The Straits Times highlighting the plight of residents of rental flats and single, old people living alone.

These reports reminded me of a devastating incident in June when my elderly paternal uncle was found dead in a rental flat in Jalan Kukoh.

He was single, lived alone, and suspected to have been dead for at least two days before he was discovered. The coroner certified that he died of ischaemic heart disease.

My family made the funeral arrangements, cleared his belongings and cleaned up his flat.

We faced some challenges such as coordinating between the Housing Board and town council, and finding people to donate his still-in-working-condition electrical appliances to.

After this experience, I wrote to the MPs of Jalan Besar GRC suggesting ways to improve the living condition of residents of rental flats.

I await a reply.

I welcome the Government's idea of building a neighbourhood without segregating flat types to minimise any class divide and to promote a caring neighbourhood in view of our ageing population and declining birth rate.

I envision a heartwarming kampung ecosystem in Singapore, where everyone looks after one another regardless of socio-economic status.

Companies fulfil their corporate social responsibility by donating money or essentials such as food, appliances, furnishings, cleaning services, logistics and transportation to the needy.

Individuals do the same, depending on their means. Those with specialised skills offer their services during their free time.

Volunteers use donated food to prepare subsidised or free meals for the needy.

Housewives and retirees who are fit offer their help to look after the young, ageing and ailing, such that families saddled with caregiving pressures for both children and the elderly can work with peace of mind.

I hope I can enjoy this kampung ecosystem in 20 years when I am likely to be retired.

Jiang PeiJu