Keep challenges in mind when forming new Cabinet

The landslide victory for the People's Action Party in this year's election caught many by surprise.

Every political party, as well as its supporters, would have various reasons for the unexpected results.

However, the electorate has spoken.

It is time for Singaporeans from all walks of life to move forward as a united and cohesive force, in order to face the uncertainties which lie ahead of us, especially weak global and regional economies, epidemic scares, political tensions in neighbouring countries and terrorist groups.

I agree with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the immediate task now is to form a new Cabinet ("PM to start forming new Cabinet"; Sunday).

It is time for Singaporeans from all walks of life to move forward as a united and cohesive force, in order to face the uncertainties which lie ahead of us.

I hope that as Mr Lee places new ministers and office holders in the various ministries, he will focus on several issues and challenges that are affecting Singaporeans.

These areas are: public transport, public housing, affordability of childcare services and employment opportunities for Singaporeans, including housewives returning to the workforce, those with lower academic qualifications and former convicts.

I also suggest that the goods and services tax rate be reduced temporarily, as we face a potential economic recession and slow jobs hiring.

I hope the new PAP Government will be a much more caring and flexible one.

Muhammad Dzul Azhan Haji Sahban

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2015, with the headline 'Keep challenges in mind when forming new Cabinet'. Print Edition | Subscribe