Focus less on real estate assets

I agree with Mr Devadas Krishnadas ("Looking far and going deep: Futuring the Economy"; Sept 2) that the Government should review the current policies and the long-term impact of the Government Land Sales programme, the high costs of ownership of properties and the role of real estate investment trusts.

Land costs, and ultimately rentals, will cascade downwards and compound the costs of all public and private services and industries.

Technological advances such as robotics and Web-based applications will reduce future need for manpower and land.

As a small nation without a hinterland, we should not concentrate too large an amount of resources in properties and real estate fixed assets, as the new economy requires people to be mobile and near the source of employment or business opportunities.

The Government should tweak some policies to ensure that Singaporeans do not "securitise" all their life.

This is to encourage more Singaporeans to retain the option and flexibility to take risks to dream, innovate and take advantage of opportunities created by all the evolving disruptive changes.

Furthermore, the current prices of properties, especially the good class bungalows, are now heading towards new benchmarks.

We should review and consider the reinstatement of estate duty taxes and levies.

The revenue from estate duty and levies can be utilised to supplement public healthcare services, hospice care, and social welfare services for poor, sick and physically or mentally disadvantaged people.

The reinstatement of estate duty and levies will help to redistribute wealth and increase awareness of social responsibility.

It will also encourage philanthropy and help build a strong, caring, sharing and thoughtful nation, in anticipation of the ageing population and changing demographics in future.

Sum Kam Weng