I have, for the past years, believed that the Singapore government is doing their utmost best for the well-being of their fellow Singaporeans. Somehow, after writing my last entry, I had a sudden revelation that the ministers, MPs and administrators are probably living in a different world from mine.

I had a feeling that they don’t seem to understand the challenges that the average Singaporean faces – be it with the coping of GST or transport hikes or the hikes in essentials or oil. Rather, they seemed to be indulged in problems of their own, particularly in the renewal of the nation. I agree that this is an important issue because we do not want to end up having an ageing population which is no longer competitive or economically viable.

However, what the government seemed to completely miss is that in order for the nation to have renewal, the people must have the means to do so. If the idea of renewal means raising children regardless of family financial situation; that, as long as the government is able to ensure that we have at least 2-3 meals a day (to quote Dr Vivian Balakrishnan:
How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?) and a roof above our heads, then this probably explains why all the carrots (bonuses) are not working that well.

If the average Singapore has to give up everything he has just to help cope with nation renewal, then who is going to provide for the cost of bring the children up? At the end of the day, it’s still the parents’ responsibilities. As I have mentioned in the last entry, asking women to put their career on hold just to raise children is not going to work out well if the husband is not able to provide for the family. Unless the husband holds a relatively well paying job, it is quite unlikely that the average new family is able to cope with housing loans, cost of raising a child and putting aside a reasonable saving at the same time.

At best, the new family will be barely scraping through, but they can probably forget about “quality of life”. I do hope that the government realises that it is unrealistic to depend on or coerce the children into taking good care of the parents when they grow old in the future – which probably explains why they are starting to consider making annuities compulsory.

Somehow, the entire sum doesn’t quite add up at the end of the day. If I have to debate about this one day, it’d be on renewal vs. cost of living vs. quality of life. I do hope that the government is not really detached from the people’s lives, but this is as much as I can do – hope.



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