Why the poor are poor: Barriers, bad choices and bad luck

Madam June Tholasiammal, whose medical condition does not allow her to work, lives in a two-room rental flat with her husband and two teenage daughters. The family depends on the $1,800 salary of her husband, a security officer who also suffers from
Madam June Tholasiammal, whose medical condition does not allow her to work, lives in a two-room rental flat with her husband and two teenage daughters. The family depends on the $1,800 salary of her husband, a security officer who also suffers from a long-term medical condition.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

A donated table serves as the dining area, storage space and study table for Mr Alex Chong Chun Hwa's family. Right at its foot are the thin mattresses that he, his wife and two children aged six and seven sleep on.

The 44-year-old cleaner says the cramped conditions in the one-room rental flat, where the family has lived for eight years, make life difficult.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 01, 2018, with the headline 'Bad choices, factors beyond their control keep some poor'. Print Edition | Subscribe