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Sunday, March 29, 2009

What changes your country within years

What changes would you like to see take place in your country within the next 10 years?

Prosperity, stability and harmony have always been goals of countries and these take a lifetime of planning to achieve. By virtue of her smallness and dynamism, Singapore has taken a relatively short time, since her independence, to change and develop into what I hope will be a better place to live in.

Family planning measures were introduced in Singapore in the early seventies. The results show that the public has accepted the scheme well. The prospect of achieving a zero population growth within a decade is very promising.

This will solve the pressing of public housing in our limited land area. The planning authorities will then be able to convert the surplus land into schools, swimming pools and pockets of green parks. With more land to spare, residents in public housing estates will feel encouraged to start their own little patches of gardens in front of their flats. This will certainly prevent Singapore from rapidly turning into a concrete jungle.

Singapore could be in danger of facing shortage of two important resources in future: energy and water. I hope that within the next few years the public would have leaned how to conserve and make the most economic use of these resources. I also hope to find more buildings constructed with specialized roofs designed to utilize solar energy. We will also be able to find a cheaper method or recycling sea water for domestic use. Perhaps this way people will realize how important it is not to pollute our seas.

It would be a welcome change to have our schools function as full day schools instead of the present two session schools. This way lessons, homework assignments and extra curriculum activities can be carried out within a planned time-table. The importance of physical of physical education needs to be further stressed to cope with the increasing problem of obesity. School children also need to be taught about dental health and major diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. More education too should be made to cut across the entire curriculum instead of being confined to one or two period per week. This would hopefully bring forth in well balanced, responsible and caring individuals.

Too often nowadays, people engrossed in the search for luxury and status forget simple courtesies and the beauty of filial piety. I hope, in future, to find that care, concern and consideration for the weak, poor, elderly and handicapped would not be reduced to lipservice and donations by public members. Institution such as the old folks homes and homes for the mentally retarded need not be built in future if people learn how to deal with these problems.

I hope to find Singaporeans who have learned from the current recession, not to take our 25 years of economic prosperity for granted. It would be nice to see Singaporeans shed their selfish work attitudes and stop job hopping and contribute through hardwork, discipline and teamwork. A large pool of housewives will be free from their domestic chores and be able to contribute to the nation’s economy if attitudes towards menial jobs changed.

In view of the present state of the world’s unrest, Singapore should be prepared to defend itself. Within the next couple of years, I hope every able Singaporean will be equipped with skills to deal with the ordeals of war, be it with a gun or with bandages.

Lastly, as a member of a multiracial society, I hope to find prejudice and barriers among different cultures and religions disappear in the next 10 years. A better understanding that results will pave the way for the cultures to interplay. Perhaps with time we might be able to emerge with a truly unique Singaporean culture that is so often talked about.