n 2009, health minister Khaw Boon Wan suggested that parents can be sent to nursing homes in Johor as they are more affordable.

He was severely attacked in social media for this suggestion. The issues raised were:

a) Why can't the government make nursing homes more affordable in Singapore.

b) Are the standards of nursing homes in Johor acceptable?
c) Does the minister expect the children to visit their parents in Johor regularly? Will the parents be forgotten?

I find the strong criticism to be unjustified. Here are my reasons.

a) The cost in Johor will be less than half of Singapore. The wages and rentals will be less costly. There is little that the government can do to reduce the cost of nursing homes in Singapore, apart from providing some subsidy.

b) It is for the customers to choose nursing homes of acceptable standards. There are good and bad nursing homes in Johor. The same applies to nursing homes in Singapore as well.

c) With mobile phones, it is easy to keep in touch with parents in Johor. It is also easy to make a visit during the off-peak hours.

The quality of life in Johor is quite good. Many Singaporeans have opted to live in Johor to enjoy the wide space and the low cost of living.

Poor Khaw BW. He has been unfairly attacked for bringing up a sensible suggestion.