The Straits Times
Published on Nov 14, 2012

The perils of slower growth


I SIMPLY cannot understand why some Singaporeans are so myopic as to opt for slow growth, when the consequences are bound to haunt them in the long run ("Can Singapore adjust to a low-growth paradigm?"; yesterday).

To avoid the stressful pace of a competitive environment, Singaporeans are pressuring the Government to opt for slower growth and fewer foreign workers.

Up to now, there has been no sign of a mass exodus of multinational corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises out of the country.

So people fail to realise that although a slower pace of life may benefit them now, there are dire consequences in the long run when these companies leave Singapore.

Such a scenario will leave us with fewer jobs, lower income and a poorer standard of living.

Our future generations may, instead of being grateful to us for helping them to achieve a slower pace of life, accuse us of causing them to face unemployment and lower standards of living.

Slower growth means less government revenue, which in turn means lower subsidies for the needy. This leads to a self-reinforcing vicious circle, where fewer foreign investments come in because the country has become increasingly unattractive.

So when will Singaporeans stop being so narrow-minded and realise that their current demands may cause their downfall in the future?

Kee Soon Leong