Sunday, October 14, 2007

Can Obituaries Be Used to Gauge Life Expectancy Or Not?

This may be a bit late but I just noticed something...

On 25/9/2007, it was reported in The New Paper that PM Lee, speaking about the recent changes made to the CPF scheme at a dialogue session held at The Grassroots Club, said the following:

"If you look at the obituary pages of The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, you read, 'mo mo mo mo gao ling jiu shi' (so and so is 90). So many 90-year-olds... and sometimes 100 over"

"And once in a while, you have a story of somebody living to 102 or 103 and was fit and walking until a few weeks before he or she died"

Then, on 8/10/2007, it was reported by the Straits Times (however, I was unable to find a link to the original article but I managed to find a link to the article on the PAP website) that when confronted by a resident "who held up the Sunday Times obituary page during a forum on the CPF changes" and who questioned the validity of the Government's argument that more Singaporeans are living beyond 85 years of age, Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, replied that:

"obituary pages must not be used as a gauge for life expectancy"

Hmm... I don't know about you all but I am confused... Can obituaries be used to gauge people's life expectancies or not?

If no, why was PM Lee citing the example of obituaries to substantiate the point that Singaporeans are living longer?

If yes, why did Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, say that obituaries must not be used to gauge people's life expectancies when someone used the obituary page to question whether Singaporeans are really living longer?

Hmm... Perhaps it is a case that obituaries can be used to gauge people's life expectancies when they show that people are living longer and cannot be used when they show the opposite?


While typing this post out, I was reminded of this post by Mollymeek that discussed how issues detrimental to the PAP Government should not, according to the PAP Government, be politicised while issues which are benefical to the PAP Government are routinely politicised. It's an interesting post, go take a look at it if you all haven't yet...

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