Keeping Singapore a land of opportunity

The Singapore skyline is seen reflected in a puddle of water at the Esplanade's outdoor theatre.
The Singapore skyline is seen reflected in a puddle of water at the Esplanade's outdoor theatre.PHOTO: ST FILE

I was very touched by Professor Kishore Mahbubani's commentary last Saturday ("To Singapore with love").

I am very grateful to Singapore, too. I was born in the early 1980s.

Being in the low middle-income group, my family was badly affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

It was then that I started believing that with a good education, I would be able to get a good job and provide a better life for my family.

Thankfully, the Singapore system gives each of us equal opportunities to work hard and strive for what we can achieve, regardless of gender, family background, race or religion.

Now, I have a job that I am passionate about, with great opportunities made available by my employer.

Most importantly, seeing my parents free from financial worries makes me even more thankful to be a Singaporean.

Whenever I travel overseas, I am reminded of how safe Singapore is. Whenever I look around me, I am proud that different races can live together in harmony.

Whenever I read about how Singaporeans shine internationally - be it in academia, sports, culture, innovation, infrastructure and so on - my heart will swell with pride.

I can almost feel the hard work that was put into each achievement, like how I have also worked hard to be who I am today.

There are some areas on which I do not fully agree with the Government - be it regarding healthcare, social, housing or education policies.

However, I often remind myself that any decision made must have been thought through as thoroughly as possible.

In hindsight, it is easy to criticise. Some decisions may not be as easily understood, but they all are aimed at serving the people at that point in time.

There is still lots to improve on and much to debate among ourselves as we strive to build a better society.

But this requires Singaporeans to work alongside the Government, to provide constructive feedback, to forgive when we should, and strive for continual improvement.

I hope the Government will continue to improve itself while listening more to the people. I hope it will also believe and trust more in the power and strength of the people.

Singapore is a land of equality, opportunity and progress, and I hope it stays this way.

Yang Mingyi (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'Keeping Singapore a land of opportunity'. Print Edition | Subscribe