Questions for politicians 'taking GE exam'

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accurately identified the three main challenges Singapore will face over the next 50 years ("PM paints stark reality of challenges in 3 critical areas"; July 1).

How can we boost productivity to continue our economic growth? How do we overcome the problems of an ageing population and a low fertility rate? How can we preserve our national identity and our sense of belonging?

If the coming general election is like an examination for the various political parties, let these be the important exam questions.

This will get our politicians thinking hard about our country's problems, rather than indulging in undesirable mud-slinging.

For us, voters, let us also do something unusual this year.

Let us put aside our old loyalties and deep prejudices, our cynical distrust, fickle vulnerability to favours, selfish short-term considerations, sense of entitlement and petty tribal rivalries.

Instead, let us judge the political competitors fairly and objectively, on their credibility and potential ability to solve our current and future problems, and give our votes to the deserving ones.

Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline 'Questions for politicians 'taking GE exam''. Print Edition | Subscribe