Singapore Must Act Swift to Trim Population
Wishlists evolve at the start of each year and dissolve at the end of it, hardly seeing any fruition! The annual wishlist is just a pastime, allowing us room for some reflection, introspection and hope even as we step into it fully aware that despair may be the inevitable outcome.
Often, therefore, they will be not very different from our previous-year yearnings.
For instance, in my wishlists for the last three years (2017,2016 and 2015), I had hoped to see a less-congested Singapore with a roadmap for trimming down the country’s population with jobs for all through a citizen-first strategy. They remain mere musings, a pipedream!
With 2017 slipping into the annals of history, I will still keep them in my list of wishes for 2018 – a significantly lower population for a higher quality of life in Singapore which will address other accompanying challenges centred around discrimination of various hues. From education to employment, Singaporeans continue to be shortchanged.
Interestingly, 2017 saw the most open economies begin to look inward, with the emergence of Mr Donald Trump as President with an “America First” slogan.
In India, the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi’s BJP has seen its “Hindu First” mission and politics of hate yield electoral successes countrywide. So much so that even the opposition Congress leader, Mr Rahul Gandhi, began to wear the Hindu cap to counter the BJP.
Strong Singapore-India Ties Amid Politics of Hate
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had to contend with sibling opposition during the year and any discontent among them may continue to simmer. Strangely, Singapore enjoys a close rapport with the Indian leaders, thanks to business interests in the world’s second most populous country. Singapore is helping build an entire capital city for the State of Andhra. Singapore’s India-origin population, MPs and ministers are also contributing to the ties with the divisive BJP.
This even as the BJP came up with the outrageous statement, through its spokesman on Indian television, that Singapore will become bankrupt if the IT sector sees a meltdown.
What 2018 holds for the world is impossible to fathom, we can only hope for the best while staying ready to overcome challenges with grit, determination and fair play. May the New Year bring cheer, peace and prosperity to the world!
G Joslin Vethakumar