Don't take eye off economic well-being

As a keen observer of the recent election, one of my concerns was that the campaigns were long on giveaways and short on how to acquire the finance needed to support the giveaways.

The question that begs to be answered is: Are we still committed to growing our economy?

If we are, the silence about the economy in rallies, media interviews and public forums is almost deafening.

Growing the economy may not contribute significantly to overall happiness and wellness in a developed country.

However, it is one of the pillars of nation building and societal well-being.

During this forthcoming term of Parliament, I trust that besides addressing immigration issues, the Government will also look into ways to attract more and better enterprises and entrepreneurs to our shores.

Besides the issue of the cost of living, think about getting more foreign direct investment.

Besides housing, think about more assistance to help local enterprises expand abroad.

Besides transport, ponder over a stronger connection to the globalised economy.

Besides checks and balances, consider how to get more talents to help us design and develop our economic growth.

C.S. Lewis, a profound thinker, was once quoted as saying that humans have a tendency to swing from one extreme to another.

The political parties that contested in this general election are treading around happy playgrounds to look for the sweet spot.

Meanwhile, our economy is slowing down, amid many challenges in the regional and global economies.

If we do not keep an eye on what is happening and on strengthening our economy, we may find our wings clipped in the next 50 years.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2015, with the headline 'Don't take eye off economic well-being'. Print Edition | Subscribe