Government to address issues raised during national conversation: Shanmugam

STEPS will be taken by the Government to address concerns raised by various population segments following the national conversation, said Foreign Minister and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Friday.

He flashed out the issues raised by different age groups and the middle class during an Singapore International Chamber of Commerce lunch dialogue with diplomats, senior government officials and business leaders at Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Shanmugam said: "We need to deal with those [concerns]. We're thinking of a number of things, but I'm not in a position to tell you what we are going to do... We will do some things."

He noted that the national conversation has been a "serious engagement" with Singaporeans from all walks of life, and that they have gotten "interesting insights".

On the younger generation, he said: "The younger people... are idealistic, they want to do things... we got to find ways of tapping that. They are very bright, the [outcome] of the Singapore tertiary education system."

The older people are mainly concerned with retirement adequacy and healthcare, he noted.

As for the middle class, Mr Shanmugam said an issue flagged is: "Is my life going to be better than my parents? Is my children's life going to be better than mine?"

The "step-up ladder progress" in Singapore from small flat to condominium to private landed property is "not so easily available" anymore, he said.

"At one time, 5 per cent went to university. So if you had a degree, you're guaranteed that you'll have a nice house, to put it in very simple terms.

"Today, 27 per cent go to university, and our landed stock is less than 5 per cent."