Wanted: Vision of Singapore based on values, not just economic value

The old narrative of material success and survival against the odds doesn't spur the young. To root young people to Singapore, we need a vision based on being a global city of opportunities, and being inclusive and embracing differences.

Countries struggle to maintain a national identity amid the challenges Globalisation 4.0 poses. The Republic is no exception.
Countries struggle to maintain a national identity amid the challenges Globalisation 4.0 poses. The Republic is no exception.PHOTO: ST FILE

A recent casual chat with a friend turned to emigration, that old chestnut of an issue.

She is a 24-year-old law student, and is all set on a legal career when she finishes her studies. Asked if she would consider leaving Singapore to work one day, she responded starkly: "If Singapore doesn't serve your interest, why should you serve hers?"

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2019, with the headline 'Wanted: Vision of S'pore based on values, not just economic value'. Print Edition | Subscribe