Some young Singaporeans are not passionate about pursuing excellence in their jobs and are quickly drawn to better conditions elsewhere, Nominated MP Nicholas Fang lamented in Parliament on Tuesday.
Mr Fang, an associate editor with Channel NewsAsia, executive director of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, and founder of an athlete management agency, said he works with different groups of young people and "it's worrying to me that not all of them are passionate about becoming excellent at what they do, or mastering their professions".
"More often than not, they place emphasis and give priority to work-life balance, a high salary or other benefits, and are quick to leave if they sense better conditions elsewhere," he added in in Parliament on Tuesday, the second day of the Budget debate.
Mr Fang said he was heartened to hear Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam saying in his Budget speech last Friday that there was a need to develop a culture of excellence and mastery in jobs.
"I agree again wholeheartedly with DPM when he says that, as individuals or companies, and as a society, we have to take pride in developing expertise and flair in every vocation," Mr Fang added.
"This includes the innate satisfaction that can be derived from being good at one's job."
This will play a crucial part in ensuring that the Singapore economy stays competitive and continues to improve in the years ahead, Mr Fang said.
Employers too have a vested interest to support the view that it is doing the job well that counts, not necessarily long hours at work, he added.