Budget 2016 must build on nation's soul

Office workers walking along Shenton Way.
Office workers walking along Shenton Way. PHOTO: ST FILE

The motives, means and end of crafting a fiscal Budget revolve around improving the quality of life for Singaporeans.

That should be the focus and the basis for measuring its success ("Budget will need to 'balance present and future needs'"; Sunday).

It should target our key priorities, and be holistic and catalytic, so as to not only create a positive impact but also generate a multiplier effect on our people, family and community.

The Budget will need to stimulate stable and sustainable economic growth, help build a strong and cohesive society, and provide the resources to develop a sound infrastructure so as to strengthen our edge and support our growth.

My wish for Budget 2016 is that it will not only focus on economic development but also build on the soul of the nation.

We need to promote less reliance on the Government and encourage more Singaporeans to be involved in active citizenry.

It should target our key priorities, and be holistic and catalytic, so as to not only create a positive impact but also generate a multiplier effect on our people, family and community.

We need to develop more ground-up initiatives to deepen our roots and strengthen our sense of belonging and affection.

To do that, we need to further develop community infrastructure and support systems to help citizens connect, collaborate and co-create solutions to help improve our overall well-being and quality of life.

We need to encourage more individuals and groups to help tackle the key issues facing our country.

In particular, we need to encourage the growth of more voluntary welfare organisations and social enterprises, and help them improve their reach and assistance to the last, the least and the lost.

There should be a greater sense that we can look forward to the future with hope and optimism, a future that will be a treasure trove of beautiful memories for our future generations.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2016, with the headline 'Budget 2016 must build on nation's soul'. Print Edition | Subscribe