What Singaporeans really want for their future
Posted by temasektimes on August 8, 2012
In an ideal world, Singaporeans would love to live on an island that has acres of personal space for recreation which will provide a less stressful lifestyle. After a long week at work, this ideal world provides an environment for Singaporeans to unwind and relax. This provision of recreational lifestyle coupled with affordability will eventually lead to pro-creation.
In addition, Singaporeans would also like to enjoy job security; where they are guranteed a decent paying job as long they continue to do their best at work. Having said this, this will go a long way in reducing the unseen stresses faced by many adults today.
However, we do not live in an ideal world. Much less; we live in a very imperfect world. So the question is how do we mitigate the various factors to ensure that everyone is happy?
The fact of life is that we can’t please everyone. Even if we manage to do so, the wish list will never end. But what we can do is to address pertinent issues and problems at hand.
Which is why I am motivated to write this article.
I am a strong believer in domino effect. So if we ever want to see birth rates increasing in Singapore, which is a optimal end result, the first issue we need to address is the issue of over-crowding.
Over-crowding in public places, transport leads to stress. After a hard day at work, all we want is like how Singapore is like in the late 1980s and early 1990s where we can sit on a bus (even if it is not airconditioned) and make our way home in serene peace (discounting the occassional bumps on the road). There must be avenues where Singaporeans can find relaxation and a huge part of it can be attributed to the provision of personal spaces.
Although the inflow of foreigners have been mitigated, 1 out of 3 individuals in Singapore isn’t a local. So it is safe to say that 33% of congestion are actually not caused by us. Relatively speaking, this leads to 33% more stress, more anger and 33% less personal space.
For young married couples like myself, this is a huge bug bear.
Second, we appreciate the Government in taking a pro-family stand in recent years. However, more can be done; in tangible manners. For example, many married couples are both working and with the retirement age being delayed, we find that more potential grandparents are STILL working. So what does that mean for us?
It simply means that we need to pay large sums of money starting from infant care all the way to K2. Of course, there will be distractors that will say there is always a choice for parents. To send their child to PAP childcare or EtonHouse childcare is the same as choosing to eat in a foodcourt or restaurant. As blunt it may seem, this is a true reflection of the choices we have as young potential parents.
The Kiasu nature of us (myself included) would want the best for our children. Who doesn’t? As such, the provision of Free, Quality care by the government for infants till K2 will no doubt take a huge load off potential parents like us. This will no doubt further create a truly conducive environment for us to decide whether to have children or not.
We Singaporeans believe in hard work and we are certainly not asking for free hand outs by the Government. After all, being a meritocratic society, we believe that one’s progression is based on how hardworking he/she is.
However in recent years, we find that there are more and more factors we have to deal with and handle because Singapore isn’t the Singapore we all grow up knowing anymore.
Without addressing these persistently heavy topics at its core, and by choosing to glaze over matters, we cannot and will not see effective solutions to any of the social problems we have. And the probable result in 10 years time is that we need more foreigners who don’t have a single stake in this little red dot we are all so proud of.
And the vicious cycle continues.
As the saying goes, without a vision, the people perish. We need a leader that will set a vision for the people so we can all work towards it.
My best wishes for Singapore. Majulah Singapura!
*The above article was first posted as a comment on Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s Facebook.