Aiyoh! They have to pay for expensive tuition & fencing costumes for their kids. Gahmen must help these poor people! pic.twitter.com/efIOA6FTuw
— mrbrown (@mrbrown) July 26, 2015
Call it the power of mrbrown: The popular blogger’s tweet about a private property owner’s gripe is circulating online, provoking indignation and endless mockery.
In a profile of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Ang Mo Kio GRC by The Straits Times, father of three Chew B.W. was one of the constituents interviewed. His complaint: Not enough is being done for those living in private estates.
Mr Chew noted the rising cost of living, such as the cost of a year’s tuition at The Learning Lab ($4,000) and a fencing costume for one of his children ($600). He added: “It doesn’t mean we are rich just because we live here. The Government should also help people like us – we pay the most taxes.”
According to the Manpower Ministry’s website, the median gross monthly income in June 2014 was $3,770. The cost of a semi-detached house typically runs into seven figures.
Mr Chew’s sentiments got short shrift from netizens on social media. The tweet has been retweeted almost 570 times. Here are some of the choicer comments on Twitter:
@mrbrown who do they want to sword fight with with all that fencing lessons?
— FTWM (@ladylimahl) July 26, 2015
@mrbrown this makes me sick. And the logic. “Doesnt mean we are rich” but “we pay the most taxes” so u rich or not rich?
— avalon (@avalon) July 26, 2015
— Ben Xue (@switchboxben) July 26, 2015
Over on Facebook, user Callan Tham said: “Here, let me play the world’s smallest violin for them.” Kwan Tuck Soon also remarked: “The gahmen should help them upgrade to a mansion with a fencing room.”
But it was Reddit user xavierkoh who had perhaps the most reasoned response: “Perhaps what we really need to cultivate as a community is a sense of empathy for the less privileged instead of always focusing on our own problems which might be more trivial in nature as compared to others. Without that, our society will further fragment into distinct social classes who only care about themselves.”