Pioneers can help chart economy's future, too

The editorial on Dec 16 ("Ageing can add value to society") highlighted the socio-economic impact of our ageing society.

With higher life expectancy, coupled with a lower birth rate, the real "middle-age" band for our present demographics encompasses those aged 55 to 65.

This band is moving upwards, slowly but surely, year by year.

However, the old mindset remains.

I was disappointed to see that the new committee tasked with charting the course of Singapore's economic future didn't appear to have anyone from the pioneer generation ("30-member committee to chart future of economy" published on Tuesday).

I see three shortcomings with this set-up.

First, the current business leaders selected are all heavily involved in their respective careers. They will be hard-pressed to find time to serve the nation.

Second, their specialisation in their respective fields could see them tilting in favour of developing the economy for the sake of their respective industries.

Third, there is an absence of nation-building experience.

I am not proposing that we chart the future based on the past, but having a component of the past will help to reduce the chance of making the same mistakes.

These three "blind spots" can be removed by including a few forward-looking senior business leaders in the committee.

I am confident these older leaders will bring with them the experience and wisdom of age.

Geoffrey Kung Kuo-Woo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2015, with the headline 'Pioneers can help chart economy's future, too'. Print Edition | Subscribe