Singapore's National Day Rally Reflections

PM Lee's speech was one which covered many issues, from discussion of current social trends in the country, to education and housing, and along the way, some solutions we can implement to alleviate our situation. This reflection will cover the issues that I find the most interesting.  

As Singapore develops from the third world to the first world, a point Mr Lee emphasized upon largely in his speech, the demands of the people also increase. People were once fine with just getting along, having just enough to survive. However, nowadays, like developing countries clustered around Asia, Singaporeans want a better life. They want something that they can connect to in their country and many Singaporeans want this through a better education. The government has responded to such concerns by expanding more universities, like UniSIM and SiT, which means that in the future, up to 40% of Singaporeans have the honour of attending university –except tertiary education will no longer remain prestigious. Certain jobs may not require a university degree, so pushing hordes of people towards university may lead to a mismatch in expectations and reality. When Singaporeans fail to get their dream jobs despite having spent years pursuing a univeristy degree, they begin to complain, and this could generate more problems.  

In the case of housing, I totally agree with PM Lee. Singaporeans need to be more understanding of the way Singapore's economy works. In a small nation like ours, the problem is that there is limited space. However, due to the country's good location, the land is still highly sought after. This means that the price of the land will continue to go up, and the citizens cannot expect the government to absorb all the shock. One idea he has tied in to the housing policies is to give priority of flats to families with children – I totally agree that this is a great policy to implement. In the process, families have a real reason to rethink their priorities. One problem I have identified is that there is a strong belief that in today’s fast-paced world, money and your job is everything, thus giving people a reason to prioritise their work over everything else. However, the new policy will give them a real incentive to start a family. Past policies have been too weak – a mere, risky 16 weeks of maternity leave and other small temporary benefits are simply insufficient to change things for the better.  

The end goal is what matters. Singapore, being a small country that focuses on quality over quantity, needs to identify the real issues that we need to tackle today. I believe that Singapore can actually achieve high standards despite its relatively small economy. Thus, the government and the people need to come to a consensus on what is important at the moment, and complete tasks one at a time. Singaporeans here also need to become more open minded towards the international community. Xenophobic sentiments are posing a large threat to Singapore, and Singapore, disadvantaged by its size already, cannot ignore the rest of the world. Thus, not only must we accept that our economy needs to include talented foreigners, we must also consider their comments on other areas in which they comment on, such as issues of human rights. 

This rally has brought about much discussion on the pertinent issues Singaporeans are faced with, and this experience has been much of an eye-opener!


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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.