I was quite surprised to see this piece of news about a week ago regarding MOE revamping the Social Studies syllabus and including recent hot-button issues like the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) syndrome and poverty in Singapore. I mentioned the news to some of my students and when some of the more curious ones probed me further on the poverty line, I realised I could not give a very coherent response.

Yes, even when I already have most of the content and information inside that grey matter of mine. Therefore, I have decided to compile a piece to help them and others understand this issue better.

1. Poverty Line? Yes or No? Why and Why Not?

What is a poverty line and what does it do?

This issue caught Singapore’s attention after Hong Kong imposed a poverty line in late 2013 that puts one fifth of its people under …