What is my wish list for a better Singapore?

Much had been explored on aspirations of youths and the next generation. As someone who is above 50 years old, I too have my own aspirations and wish list. Let me share what I think about constantly.

High cost of living
Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, was stuck stubbornly high since two years back. Inflation was around 5% for about 18 months. (Straits Times) Even when we strip off accommodation and private road transport, core inflation is still at 2.4% for July 2012. In layman’s term, you will find cost of cooked food and visit to your doctor costs more now. When my earning potential declined as I age, it becomes a worry because my savings will slowly decline to pay for higher cost of living expenses.

One may ask about investments to help us cope with inflation. It is becoming difficult in recent years to rely on investment returns to cope with rising costs. Savings deposits provide meager interest income and some investments can even erode capital sums invested.

One idea I had is for government to offer Singapore Governments Securities (SGS) with different tenor strictly for retail investors and make it super easy for us to buy SGS and hold for the yearly risk-free interest income. I recall how shares of Singapore Telecom were floated in 1993 for Singaporeans to own a piece of the company. Instead of offering SGS in an auction where corporations, fund managers and rich individuals are usually the beneficiaries, government can work out a mechanism to issue to retail investors with certain tranches of SGS.

Aging health problems
Tied to cost of living issues is the concern of health problems associated with growing old. It is a fact that my physical body is less robust than when I am younger. Health care expenditure will increase as one ages. I wish that health care cost could remain affordable with greater subsidies from annual government budget.

Bringing up children
As parents, we wish the best for our children that they are taken care of with proper upbringing. Beside decent academic results, other aspects are just as important:

a. good moral values and social grace
b. less self-centredness and think more for others
c. respect for elders, teachers, and parents
d. compassionate and tolerant towards others
e. extend a helping hand towards the less fortunate
f. pride in one’s work
g. more human connection and social integration (instead of constantly on IT gadgets and internet)

Academic competition is stiff and unhealthy. I feel sorry for younger kids growing up in Singapore. Parents, society and state must somehow address this complex problem. If this is not adequately addressed, fertility rate will be under constant threat.

Taking care of elderly parents
At my age, I have a child and an elderly parent. One must be filial and visit your parents often to keep them company. Our parents brought us up and it is time we look after them in their old age.

Social grace
I identify some ugly sides of human behaviour that I wish can go away for a graceful environment.

a. littering
b. mess on table after eating, trays left uncleared
c. refusing to give up seats on public transport for those who require them more
d. inconsiderate drivers on the road
e. impatient and rude behaviour
f. less tolerant of people and neighbours

I wish the day would come when we can live graciously with less burden of constantly worrying about material well being. Focus on what contribute to happiness and strive towards achieving them.

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One Response to What is my wish list for a better Singapore?

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