Higher living standards raise issue of basic needs

While 75 per cent of households in one-and two-room flats do not own air-conditioning systems, according to the latest Household Expenditure Survey carried out in 2017 and last year, this percentage has shrunk from 86 per cent in the 2012/13 survey.
While 75 per cent of households in one- and two-room flats do not own air-conditioning systems, according to the latest Household Expenditure Survey carried out in 2017 and last year, this percentage has shrunk from 86 per cent in the 2012/13 survey.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Once seen as luxuries, air-cons, Net access may now be essentials as more have them

The seven wall-mounted fans spread around Madam Haisah Kamarudin's two-room flat are next to useless on hotter days.

"I want an air-conditioner, but the cheapest I can find is about $1,000," said the 38-year-old housewife whose husband - a building maintenance officer - is the sole breadwinner for her family of eight. "This is a wish I know I cannot have."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2019, with the headline 'Higher living standards raise issue of basic needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe