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SG50: Reimagining Singapore




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You get what you wish, Swee Keat!

Don’t ask us to imagine what Singapore would be like fifty years from now because it may be a country where PAP is no longer dominant.

It is tempting to say these words to SG50 steering committee chief Heng Swee Keat when he said that his SG50 celebrations will culminate with an expo offering a glimpse of what Singapore would look like 50 years from now.

That is obviously PAP’s vision for Singapore. This is what they want us to see and will be PAP’s narrative going into the future.

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But what it sorely lacks is the alternate vision and it is completely devoid of the wants of the man on the street. It does not incorporate our wishes.

Singapore was described as a “millionaires’ island,” in an article by Guardian. Atypical Singaporean, however, will not agree to this label. The majority of us struggle with the daily trials of life, we struggle with getting permanent employment. We struggle with rising costs of living. In short, life is nothing but a struggle for many of us.

An expo that our future will be better seems like a myth to many. Their vision, some say, only benefits a handful of Singaporeans, the elite and worse still, the well-heeled foreigners who live in Sentosa Cove.

Here are some of the things that we wish to see in the future. Do include your points of what you want to see in the comments section below:

  1. Both politicians and political institutions need to mature and build robust democratic institutions. This may involve relooking at our current electoral systems and taking down political barriers to entry, like the GRCs for example.
  2. Government to cater for our retirement and medical needs.
  3. Revamp our education system so that it is less stressful for primary school kids.
  4. Develop enterprises that can support the local workforce and the economy.
  5. Let’s not shackle the media.

Like the minister, we want a better Singapore as well. But building a better future for us involves a lot of hard work and concerted effort from all of us. We doubt that an expo or a celebration about our past will be sufficient.

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