Govt needs mindset change, not just policy alternatives

While it is necessary for the fourth-generation leaders to forge a new compact with the young in Singapore, many elements of the old compact - hard work, fairness and inclusion - should be retained as well (4G leaders must fire up young to build S'pore's future, says President; May 8).

However, holding reflexive beliefs is harmful and may inhibit the Government from thinking creatively and comprehensively.

For instance, the policymaker's reflexive belief that an expansion of social security will erode our work ethic and reduce competitiveness may have been apt in the past.

Today, it is unjustified, and Singapore should be looking at fiscally sustainable social programmes.

We need a return to the innovative, integrated, pragmatic and adaptive approaches that characterised the Singapore Government when it first formulated the current social compact and built institutions like the Housing Board and the Central Provident Fund Board.

A mindset change is perhaps what the Government needs, not just policy alternatives.

Wong Horng Ginn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'Govt needs mindset change, not just policy alternatives'. Print Edition | Subscribe