Monday, August 20, 2007

My Views on National Day Rally

I watched the rally live in the NUS university cultural centre. It was an eye opener as I saw many important figures like the DPM, Chief Justice, Chief of Defence Force just around me in the reception.

Overall, I can say that this year’s rally was very concise, precise, to the point, relevant to Singaporean’s immediate concerns and packed with whole punch of humour!

PM Lee cleverly infuses humour into his rally speech, for example, he remarked how Minister of State of Education Lui Tuck Yew wore red to match the old samusi lady he was chatting!

Education, income gaps, CPFs and housing rejuvenations were the key focuses in this year’s budget.

Singapore decided to increase the proportion of graduates to 30% in years to come and decided to build a new fourth university. Academics remarked the building of another university should be geared more towards meeting the needs of Singapore and Singaporeans rather than for the sole purpose of raising the number of graduates. This is a relevant point.

Some form of annuity will be made compulsory for Singaporeans below 50 years of age, and nearly all estates except the very new estates like Pasir Ris will undergo some form of upgrading.

I believe with the purpose of annuity and upgrading of flats may be greeted by some Singaporeans but first and foremost, I believe the topmost concern for Singaporeans is the sum of money they need to fork out for the annuity and for the upgrading of flats. These are costs Singaporeans may have to incur in future and Singaporeans need to be assured of as usual.

For the learning of Malay and the emphasis on Chinese among schools here, while I welcome the move, I believe MOE should bring this good concept of learning the regional language as well as Chinese further: Non-Indian students shall learn the Tamil language too.

If Tamil is learnt by the non-Indians, it will stand Singapore in good stead with the burgeoning economy of India.

Just imagine, if Singapore has non-Malays who specialise in Chinese and/or Indian, non-Indians who specialise in Malay/Chinese and Chinese who specialise in Malay and Indians, the increased understanding and cohesion among the different races will increase immensely.

Last but not least, I believe Singaporeans should work to an age and contribute to society while he can, be it 65 or older and to help those who are poorer than them in one way or another, the latter is our moral obligation.

Working when one is old may be unwelcomed by many, but working is an activity that will keep the mind alert and make the body stronger than to sit down and idle.

As outlined in the rally, Singapore has good plans to build its future but there is always the threat of a global decline of economy which will definitely affect Singapore.

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