Sad tale or a potential happening in future?

When we were young, our parents look after us. When they are old, should we not look after them? For some Singaporean, it’s a yes and no. Yes, the young would take care of the old by paying for their stay in nursing homes in Johor Bahru. Yes, they would visit their old folks a few times in a year. Yes, they would pay for their stay there. No, it is not possible for the old folks to be in Singapore because the cost to take care of them in Singaporean facilities are too high. Staying at home with a maid may also be too expensive and their HDB flat may not be big enough. One maid may also not be enough for their parents and it’s impossible to have up to three maids for their parents and kid. In case everyone wonder what happened to the S$ which is so many times bigger than Ringgit, well, truth is, when you earn and spend in the same country, it may not necessarily be sufficient.
The fortunate thing is, Johor Bahru presents an opportunity for a win-win situation. Instead of everyone in the whole family suffering from the high costs and reduced lifestyle just to be able to cater to the old, the young and income earners, the nursing home in Johor Bahru has lessened their burden. Some of these nursing homes have up to 40% Singaporeans! Of course, these nursing homes are not the dark, paint peeling ones. These are proper ones with some offering even own private rooms, shower facilities and gardens for them to take a stroll in, safely.
Many of these old folks home are also run by Singaporean companies. One example, Econ Healthcare Group runs eight nursing homes in Johor Bahru. Some other may be jointly owned by both Singaporean-Malaysian owners such as Spring Valley Homecare. This is said to be the largest nursing home operator and operates 210 beds. It is expanding with a purchase of a 8,000sq ft piece of land in Johor Bahru recently. Frankie Ker, director of Spring Valley said, “If you are poor, the Government will look after you. If you are rich, you can afford three maids to look after you 24 hours. If you’re middle-class, it’s tough” Of course, this is also true for Malaysians. The only difference is that perhaps we have a hometown to go home to which may be cheaper than if we were to continue staying in cities.
There may be a day in the future that we may also have to consider such situations here in Malaysia. Before that day comes, financial planning and investment must quickly be followed through seriously.
written on 16 Mar 2015
Next suggested article: Working beyond the age of 65?


  1. Small size girl avatar
    Small size girl

    Singaporean doesn’t own a lot of companies in its own country. But, they are establishing their own entities in oversea. One of the famous spot will be Iskandar, Johor. Sooner or later this spot will has lot more foreign owned entities and will be repatriating money back to their home country. Key question – What benefit us? Establishment of more multinational companies, hopefully, together with higher domestic employment and increase income level of the selected industries.

    1. For Iskandar, I think sooner or later, the lower end of the middle income earners in Singapore would have to move to Iskandar if they want a bigger and better environment. When I look at Hong Kong’s latest property launches today for units which are not bigger than a typical hotel room today, I think Singapore must start thinking of their future. Building higher or building underneath or even more reclamation? I think a good alternative would be just next door. Then again, I am not a Singaporean. We will see what happens in future.

  2. The high cost of living in singapore is really precipitating all these. When their children grows up and have their own families, they have to fend with bigger issues like upkeeping housing installments, vehicle expenses, kids expenses etc… Nobody has much time to stay at home to help look after the elderly who might need nursing care. Left with not much choice, they have to send the elderly to nursing homes.

    1. Yeah Clover, sometimes it’s just not possible to rely on just the children. They may be facing financial obstacles themselves too. Just have to be ready for future independently. Thus planning ahead is critical.

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