Singaporeans should appreciate what we have

Singaporeans should count themselves fortunate that they live in a system that takes care of them from the cradle to the grave, but not in a socialist welfare way that discourages effort.

During our economically productive years, we are expected to work hard and save.

We grow the value of our assets by buying our first Housing Board flat and subsequently upgrading to larger ones that may suit our needs.

We should not take these for granted.

Foresight and planning for the future are paramount. Stability brought on by continuity of government and good governance makes all these possible.

It is also about tough decisions taken during difficult times and the support from the populace. For example, people have paid heed to the calls for lifelong learning and retraining as our country restructures to ride the next wave of change.

What is good for the country cannot be bad for us as we witness how every generation lives better than the last.

Where else in the world does a government pay attention to even small details - from the affordability of milk powder to utilities to healthcare?

The newly announced policies regarding HDB flats effectively put money in the hands of ordinary citizens as they enhance the value of their most-prized asset.

Although there is much worry about social stratification, such policies make our system fair. At least the spoils of our economic achievements are shared equitably.

But we must check ourselves from turning complacent and developing a feeling of entitlement.

We must link our efforts to growing the economic pie so that successive generations can live better.

Lee Teck Chuan