Saturday, 23 May 2015

[Straits Times] Issues at the top of S'pore voters' minds

WITH the People's Action Party needing to hold a general election by January 2017, my view is that the following issues will be at the top of Singaporeans' minds:

  • The last financial crisis was in 2008 and there are risks of an impending global recession due to worldwide high debt and currency wars.

We have been experiencing slower growth and need a government that is able to steer Singapore out of these uncharted waters and provide a stable economy that has jobs for all.

  • Most Singaporeans feel that our education system is too focused on grades. Many parents are sending their children to enrichment and tuition classes to help them succeed in exams.

There is also concern over students focusing on one area of study in tertiary institutions, and then being unable to find jobs when market demand changes.

  • There are concerns about having enough money for retirement and whether Central Provident Fund savings can provide for Singaporeans when they turn old.

  • While there is the Pioneer Generation Package, those in other age groups may have trouble dealing with the rising cost of healthcare.

  • With the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group infiltrating South-east Asia, we need a strong, stable government that places security at the forefront and continues to implement policies that protect our citizens.

  • Creating a fair, equitable and inclusive society.

To do this, the Government needs to be collaborative, listen to its people and treat all citizens fairly.

  • Many Singaporeans, especially the younger ones, will still be concerned about finding affordable housing and some are worried that the recent property cooling measures may cause a depression in the market.

The issue of town council governance will likely be a talking point as well.

  • Finding the right political leaders - with intelligence, integrity, trustworthiness, compassion, civility and respect- to bring diversity to the Government is critical, whether they are MPs serving at the grassroots level or ministers at the national level.

The time may be right to hold the general election earlier.
With the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, many people have been given an opportunity to see how Mr Lee and his team built Singapore, and the importance of having a strategic, long-term plan for the nation.
Wong Shih Shen