Singapore must strive to maintain its level of liveability

The Government has announced a series of measures that will reduce the stress levels of students, which include the removal of some mid-year exams and the end of streaming.
The Government has announced a series of measures that will reduce the stress levels of students, which include the removal of some mid-year exams and the end of streaming.PHOTO: ST FILE

Popular video blogger Nuseir Yassin, creator of Nas Daily, has decided to come and live in Singapore (I'm putting my money where my mouth is: Nas Daily, March 24), a testament to how good life can be here. But we must strive to maintain this level of liveability.

The Government has announced a series of measures that will reduce the stress levels of students, which include the removal of some mid-year exams and the end of streaming.

There are also measures to give local workers more job opportunities at the expense of foreign workers, among a slew of goodies in this year's Budget that will also help the elderly and less well-off.

But while making life easier for Singaporeans is important, we must not forget that Singapore has only one marketable resource: human talent.

This means that we must continue to nurture our local talent and provide conditions for growth.

This also means we cannot remove all traces of pressure, competition and stress, lest we become soft and easily bruised like strawberries.

Already I have heard stories about how unprepared young people are for the challenges of the workplace.

No matter how pleasant we make the transition for them into the battlefields of the office, ultimately, things can be brutal there. Especially if we are to compete internationally.

No one will make it easy for us. Nearby ports and airports look to replace Singapore at the top of the food chain. Already we have lost our status as a shopping paradise due in part to high rentals and costs.

If we are to excel, we need our workforce to remain agile, efficient and adaptable. We should also avoid a handout mentality, where we always look to the authorities to give us benefits and complain whenever conditions we desire are not met.

We also need to look around us and remain aware that Singapore needs to maintain its edge to stay afloat, and also appreciate what we already enjoy because many others would be glad to have even half of what we have.

Peter Loon Seng Chee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore must strive to maintain its level of liveability'. Print Edition | Subscribe