Spirit of pioneer generation will propel S'pore forward

Just as the pioneers 53 years ago helped bring Singapore to where it is today, a "new pioneer generation" is needed to take us to SG100.

The actors this time are the young Singaporeans of today, and the spirit and grit needed are the same as those displayed by the original pioneer generation.

Indeed the problems seem no less daunting now and Singapore's situation calls for this generation to set aside tried-and-tested solutions that worked in the past and experiment with new ones that have no precedent (Call for bold changes welcomed by youth; May 8).

Only a people with a pioneering spirit can do that, so that new expeditions of discovery can be embarked on again - as was done after independence in 1965 - to find out what works.

Singaporeans will have to be called upon again to sacrifice the short-term convenience of keeping the status quo and to accept disruptions to their lives that pilots and trials will entail. Again, only a people with a pioneering spirit can do that. Managed well, most of our trailblazing feats will succeed, as proven by the pioneer generation before us.

Meanwhile, we should avoid too much navel-gazing and fretting over Singapore's constraints. They cause us to be fearful and miss opportunities. A people with a pioneering spirit are not gripped by fear; they are optimistic.

We need a new generation of pioneers to have faith in Singapore, and stand up and overcome the challenges ahead. Each generation brings new energy and new dreams to "follow that rainbow" yet again.

Wong Horng Ginn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2018, with the headline 'Spirit of pioneer generation will propel S'pore forward'. Print Edition | Subscribe