Let’s converse: Can S’pore survive 100 years?

Let’s converse: Can S’pore survive 100 years?

I refer to the online report “Conversation will take a year, perhaps longer: Heng” (Sept 8).

We should use the national conversation to discuss not only current or middle-term issues and aspirations but also issues that would affect the nation’s long-term destiny.

About 30 years ago, Mr Lee Kuan Yew asked Singaporeans to ponder whether Singapore could survive 100 years.

He asked many hard questions in the past. He wanted the people to see and foresee existing and future problems, so that they could work with the Government to tackle them. He adopted tough policies when needed.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong did not paint a rosy picture at the National Day Rally, either. He cited our shortcomings, fault lines and potential dangers ahead, including our declining fertility, which we must overcome. He reminded us to be more self-reliant.

Long-term declining citizenship would threaten our survival, the hardest issue to face as a nation. We cannot rely alone on soft options such as incentives to solve such a threat.

Imagine, if our shores were eroding, causing our land to shrink by 10 per cent every decade, should not we all do our part to restore our land unconditionally?

We must make every Singaporean know that the threat is real and its impact, devastating. We need to do something extra or extraordinary to tackle it, like we would if our island were shrinking.

If we do not restore our citizenship pool fast enough, Singapore may still survive 100 years, but the Singapore we are proud of might look more like a big hotel then. Even more foreigners would be needed to fill the rooms.

Whatever measures we may take later must take into account this vulnerability, so that future generations do not blame us for being short-sighted, feeble or selfish.

From Ng Ya Ken

Source : Todayonline : Let’s converse: Can S’pore survive 100 years?

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