Our SG Conversation : what would contribute to a sense of optimism for our future in Singapore ?

Thoughts by Tan Chuan-Jin, OSC member

We have kicked off with a few wall posts to encourage responses from all of you. We wanted to sense if there are particular approaches or ideas emerging about how our conversation should evolve. Some of you have suggested that we should spark discussions around specific topics. I think this is a good suggestion, and would like to start off by asking:

what would contribute to a sense of optimism for our future in Singapore? 

Chua Soon Khai, Thomas Goh and Onyko Tan have suggested that we should redefine success in our Singapore society, going beyond the materialistic to ensuring that every citizen, regardless of age and ability, develops their fullest potential as individuals and serve as active members of society.

We also received a heartfelt letter written by Theresa Goh, reflecting on “the Singapore I want to be born into”, from the perspective of her child. (http://www.oursgconversation.sg/thesingapore/)

Yew Lin Chen also rightfully pointed out that this is about the people’s hope – not the Government’s hope, but our hope for the future. These are good reflections, and I thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts.Redefining success would require us to think about what that really means to us.

  • Do we want to ensure that our children receive a strong educational foundation to face the opportunities and challenges in life?
  • And do we also want to recognise the different talents and aspirations, and encourage meaningful pursuits of their passions?

These are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but parents would appreciate how difficult it is to find the balance where we enable our children to acquire the skills they need, while allowing them to hone their passions and letting them enjoy the process of learning and doing.

My children are aged 14 and 10. As parents, my wife and I feel strongly that education is a lifelong process. It is as much about letting our children enjoy their childhood years as it is about values inculcation and being rooted in their faith. At the same time, I feel the pressure and wonder if I am short changing my children by not pushing them harder? This is where a clarity of shared purpose and being focused becomes very important for us. We have real choices to make and it is for us to decide. We cannot devolve that responsibility.

  • What about you?
  • What would you like for our children, families, communities, and society in the future?

I would be keen to hear your thoughts on this.
Warmest regards,




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s