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The Other Side of Life in Singapore

by James Tang (1038 views)
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Living and being a Singapore Citizen in Singapore poses a unique set of challenges for the people of the country. With its sound and stable economy along with the strong political system and excellent education for the citizen, one would think that Singaporeans lead an extremely comfortable life. Not to mention the insane security measures and relatively high quality of life, what more can citizens yearn for in life? Sadly, to say, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to life as a Singaporean. With limited land space and resources, along with a high cost of living, perhaps live isnít as simple as stated on paper.

How does a nation control its people to continue working, to help spur the economy?

Singapore can only rely on its people as a resource for furthering the country to higher places. With that, the huge emphasis placed on education along with the development of the tertiary and quaternary sector has evolved over the years, propelling the country to greater heights. However, a problem that has been pertinent in a country that focuses on service is the productivity of the workers. As most high skilled jobs often require long training periods and are mentally exhausting in general, workers are often easily drained in terms of their mental prowess. This leads to productivity loss and efficiency lacking in a country that relies so heavily on the mental capabilities of its citizens.

Back in the 1950s, the National Productivity Board which has evolved into SPRING Singapore launched the productive bee mascot to help the citizens increase their productivity. However, with the turn of the century, the move towards a SMART nation resulted in productivity being diverted to technology instead. So besides your usual Work Improvement Teams (WITS) project and the National Innovation Quality Circles that aims to help the people work better, the government is instead focussing to automate SMEs with cash subsidies on technology.

Owning a property whereby most people have to take up a loan?

Of course, back to the issue of housing, many Singaporeans are having difficulty paying for their houses with the high cost of HDB flats. In recent years, however, BTO flats have offered first time home owners with subsidies. With that being said, the loan period of 25 years and 30 years for HDBS and condominiums respectively are putting a huge strain on couples especially if they plan to live with the debt just for the sake of materialism.

Then again comes the question of purchasing a resale flat for those that wish to enjoy the comforts of a more spacious apartment. They fail to realise that despite the high prices around, there is dreaded 99-year lease hanging above the heads of owners even after the sale has been conducted. This lease ensures that the house would be returned to the government at the end of the period essentially negating your prior investments. Citizens fail to take into account this fact instead of considering other options such as renting, making it a perennial problem and one that highlights the materialistic natures of Singaporeans.

In culmination, perhaps it would be better if Singaporeans focussed more on building a reputable business of their own, saving their money and planning for a peaceful retirement instead of the constant worry of repaying debts to the bank. After all, life is all about the experience and not the possession of material which will not follow us after death.