ST Aug 3, 2009In subsequent posts, I will share some thoughts on some of the 10 questions above.
10 challenges for the next generation: SM
Success creates its own problems, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday when he spelt out the 10 challenges facing the next generation. He highlighted them by posing questions to Cabinet ministers, families and the young.
1 High growth: Amid global competition, can you maintain Singapore's high economic growth and keep on improving our standard of living?
In 1959, thousands of Singaporeans lived in slums and squalor. Today, more than 90 per cent own their homes.
2 Life will get better: How do you, as leaders, convince Singaporeans of that when they are already living in good-quality public and private housing?
3 Transport: How does the Transport Minister satisfy the demands for comfort, convenience, congestion-free travel and punctuality of services and expectation of affordable fares, ERP and parking charges?
4 Health care: Can the Health Minister stamp out diseases linked to an affluent lifestyle, such as diabetes and cancer? And keep health-care costs down and affordable?
If we live till 90, we would probably have to work till 75 to have enough savings for a cosy retirement of 15 years.
5 Worker training: Can the Manpower Minister and the labour chief design a new training programme, Workfare (a wage supplement for working low-income Singaporeans) and a Jobs Credit wage subsidy scheme for grandparents and maybe even great-grandparents?
6 More babies: What will get our young to marry and have children? Any creative ideas on procreation, Mr Goh asks parents and the young.
7 Ageing: Today, 9 per cent of our population are over 65 years of age. By 2030, it will more than double to 20 per cent.
How do we support so many senior citizens, he asks the chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Ageing.
How will we look after our parents and grandparents? Will you build more community hospitals, nursing and old folk's homes, and keep them affordable?
8 Scarce land: In the last 50 years, land area has been expanded by more than 20 per cent, through reclamation.
How much more land can Singapore reclaim over the next 50 years, he asks the Minister for National Development.
As the population and the economy grow, how will Singapore deal with the potential over-crowding problem?
9 Education: Bright students will be sought after internationally, chipping away at Singapore's talent pyramid at the top. Mr Goh considers this one of the most serious threats to Singapore's long-term survival and says it has to be solved now.
His questions for the Prime Minister, Education Minister, schools and families: How do we bond students going abroad to Singapore, physically if possible, and if not, at least emotionally? How do we ensure most will return home and contribute to Singapore? How do we ensure there will always be a core of honest, able and dedicated Singaporeans to look after the country and their fellow men?
10 Religious harmony: For four decades, Singapore has enjoyed racial and religious harmony. How do the people of Singapore ensure that Singaporeans of different faiths will continue to mix with one another and respect one another's faith?
Aug 4, 2009
The Ever-Inquisitive Mr Goh Chok Tong
This man has so many questions. Considering how much he's paid, one would have thought that he should be supplying answers instead, LOL.