The Straits Times
Published on Feb 07, 2013

Ingrates? We are just worried about our future


I WAS disconcerted to read Miss Tan Lin Neo's letter ("High cost of living comes with good quality of life"; Monday). Her argument appears flawed.

First, a high cost of living does not equate with a good quality of life. Just tell this to those who are struggling to make ends meet. In fact, life has become appreciably more hardscrabble in recent years for low-income earners, as even basic necessities have become less affordable due to inflation.

Second, I cannot help but feel there is a disconnect between Miss Tan's rarefied notions and what is happening on the ground. Perhaps the only ones truly enjoying an enhanced quality of life are those who have deep pockets and can thus indulge in the finer trappings that a First World country can offer.

I suspect that the broad swathe of Singapore's populace are people like me - who work hard for a living on a fixed income, snap up deals only because they translate into savings, regard housing as a necessity and not as an investment, and view increasing costs with alarm as they realise that whatever nest egg they are amassing is gradually being whittled away.

True, most Singaporeans do appreciate the improved public amenities and infrastructure that good governance has given us.

However, this must be balanced with the management of spiralling costs, especially of public goods and other essentials. This is an entirely reasonable expectation that we voters trust the Government to oversee. It is certainly not a "whim" of the electorate, as Miss Tan has so nonchalantly put it.

Our fears about our financial security and our children's future are very real. I therefore take umbrage at Miss Tan for suggesting that our laments about the high cost of living and for wanting the Government to do something about it are the trifling whinings of a bunch of ingrates.

Marietta Koh Ai-meng (Mrs)