Sunday, February 21, 2010

My suggestion on some policies.

The government had been touting abt them giving substantial state subsidies for education, health care and public housing.

Unfortunately, being a person whom had grown up from a lower income family, I had saw and experienced the effects of government's policy over time since i was still a kid. In summary, I can only say that the "standard of living" had been decreasing due to a increase in "cost of living".

My philosophy that what a government MUST do, in order to honour the principle that the government serves the people and not the other way round: is that basic fundamental needs MUST BE taken care of. Namely: Health Care, Accommodation and Education.

As far as i'm concerned, I still feel that healthcare is too expensive (for surgeries, operations, etc... the major illness and diseases) for Singaporeans. There MUST BE SUBSTANTIAL, if not, NEAR COMPLETE healthcare subsidies or aids given to Singaporeans - If you want ppl to increase their productivity, then spare them the misery of forking out life savings to save themselves and the tragedy of skipping treatments and delaying operations due to a lack of money. (my mother did delay certain scans or checks because of financial issues).

The HDB's role was to ensure EVERY SINGAPOREAN have a roof over their head. Unfortunately, there had been news abt ppl living in the streets as well as pitching tents at campsites as a makeshift accommodation. This is particularly disturbing to me.

The entire HDB policy should be reviewed to keep up with times. As now that the country had been pretty developed, the HDB should reinvent and NOT BECOME like another real estate company which is trying their best to siphon money from the citizens. While at the same time, HDB flats SHOULD AND MUST be easily affordable and acquired by local citizens. The current practise is just a delibrate manipulation of the property prices, causing an unneccesary bubble and uncalled for encouragement towards "public property trade" (using HDB apartments as a tool to earn money).

Its a cause and effect - if the property will always rise in value in ridiculous rates, then people will definitely use the opportunity to earn money with it - and ultimately, the people who suffer will be people from my generation and the generations that follow ; BECAUSE it would be impossible to afford an apartment anymore in the future.

I have this vision that, the money paid for the flats would go into their CPF (a way to let ppl own a house while assisting them to save money for retirement) instead of money being deducted for payment for their flats. But perhaps, the owners will not be able to sell the flat, since they virtually paid nothing to stay in that apartment (since their money is "paid" into their CPF).

While this is just a seed idea, not a full policy suggestion, but its a new concept and perspective towards public housing. - The idea is that public housing is to ensure people have a house to stay. While there are definitely loads of people unable to afford their dream house or invest in one, but we should not deprive them of the opportunity to stay in one (albeit them might not be able to sell and earn from it).

The catch is that:

people can choose either to pay like what they are doing now, which gives them to chance to cash in by selling their apartment when the valuation is higher


people can choose to "skip" that "upgrading process", and just be contented living in their dream apartment (while they still pay half the "market rates" of similar category of the apartment) but with their monthly "rent" paid into their CPF to help them save money for retirement or rainy days.

This idea still need improvements and fine tuning, since its just a concept. But I see promises of a better lives for many Singaporeans.

To me, education is an investment by the country to ensure the sustainability and productivity of the future Singapore. Every single person who dropped out or unable to pursue their studies means a lost opportunity for Singapore to extract the best and maximise the potential of our single most important asset - the people.

To cut story short - a school should be created to teach entrepreneurship and business to those that dropped out of secondary school.

This group of drop outs are extremely isolated and with no "route of advancement" for them in life. ITE requires at least a 'N' level. Every single job out there requires at least an 'O' level, regardless if that job can be even done by a 12 year old. I see this as a failure on the part of the society and the government's policy - likened to the India's caste system.

Why entrepreneurship? Because many of this people just dun like studying/dun have the penchant for memorising/kicked out of school for not being compliant to the system (but many a time is because these kids matured ahead of their time)/misleaded and lack a purpose in life.

Teaching these kids and providing them the skills and perhaps some funds to kick start a small business; these kids with their young and creative minds, could do wonders. Even those who are delinquents, seeing that whatever they do now can earn them cold hard cash; they will definitely find a new and better purpose in life than to just hand around void decks and commit stupid crimes.

I met some people whom graduated from top local schools and these "elites" have a disdain and straightforward dismissal of people studying in Normal Tech Stream (which does not exist in their school) for being delinquents (while based on my experience, the worst lots of the students usually comes from Normal Academic Stream, but others also come from both Express and NT stream) and assumed that neighbourhood school students are inferior to them. These sort of elitism mindset carried by their elites would be brought into the parliament where these Elites comes into power.

I want this "worse than racism" paradigm to be changed.

Getting 'A's in school does not equal to success in life and better contribution to society and country.