More productive for people to be part of the solution to problems

Vlogger Nuseir Yassin recently commented that a lot of Singaporeans lack perspective (Too many in Singapore lack perspective, says vlogger; Sept 21).

Mr Yassin hit the nail on the head in his retort against complaints about Housing Board leases, train break-downs, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) and national service.

Having lived abroad for 24 years, I have definitely returned with a greater sense of appreciation for my country. Compared with most countries, Singapore's systems run like clockwork.

Yes, trains do break down, but what machine doesn't? HDB leases are not infinite, but neither is our land supply.

CPF contributions are substantial, but so are the critical needs it serves, such as education, housing and medical.

National service is a badge of honour and a duty that safeguards our national security.

However, I find Mr Yassin's remarks on Singaporeans lacking perspective do not apply across the board to all areas.

Singaporeans, our leaders in particular, harbour a broader perspective than most foreign countries, whose citizens seldom see beyond their borders - in part due to the tunnel vision imposed by their leaders.

For example, while a foreign president was using derogatory language in talking about African nations, the Singapore Government's global arm Enterprise Singapore has been busy setting up overseas offices there, with Nairobi being the most recent station (Singapore deepens ties with Kenya, Rwanda; June 18).

The reason for doing so is that our leaders recognise the limitations of our country and are constantly looking out for new opportunities beyond our shores.

Most Singaporeans are also keenly aware that while our education system is highly demanding, it is very necessary for brewing our human capital engine, Singapore's one and only resource.

Our nation indeed has areas in need of improvement. But it would be more productive if Singaporeans, instead of venting and ranting, ask themselves how they can be a part of the solution to the problems.

Lily Ong (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'More productive for people to be part of the solution to problems'. Print Edition | Subscribe