Don't take easy way out in making decisions

I applaud Mr Seah Kian Peng for speaking out against focusing purely on economic rationales in making policy decisions (Teachers tarred with unclean wage: Seah Kian Peng; May 19).

While recognising that it has held Singapore in good stead, he stressed that economic reasoning is empty without a moral foundation.

While Mr Seah cited the issue of parking charges in schools as an illustration, there are other areas that require a similar re-think.

For instance, the tender system for religious sites.

In 2015, more than 80 per cent of our population professed to have a religion. Religious institutions help meet the social and spiritual needs of citizens and make an important contribution to the well-being of our nation. They are non-profit institutions and dependent on public donations.

I believe that in many cases, economic reasoning is merely used to simplify decision making - in the above case, to decide on the allocation of land - and a convenient way out of a problem.

Policies need not be driven by a "one size fits all" paradigm.

It is time our policymakers move boldly away from a tried and safe system, towards a more holistic decision-making process.

Georgie Lee Heng Fatt

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'Don't take easy way out in making decisions'. Print Edition | Subscribe