I am not interested in politics but with the elections round the corner, the daily news and Google Alerts are peppered with all kinds of articles lamenting the sad state of Singapore affairs.
I know there will always be people unhappy with their government. Whether in a nanny state like ours, a liberal freedom to all country like the US or a socialist-minded nation like China. There’s nothing we can do about it especially when it comes to trying to please millions if not billions of people.
But an article I read yesterday stirred up some emotions in me. It is written by the reform party, i.e. the opposition. It triggered me to think if perhaps we have been relying too much on aged policies that worked when we were a founding nation.
Policies that instead of being scrapped, were built upon layer upon layer until it is now a gigantic tangle of red tape and bureaucracy.
I am concerned because it seems that it is getting harder and harder to educate our younger generation about these policies. There are so many rules, criteria, exceptions and inter-connections that Singaporeans are now becoming more confused than enlightened about the intentions of our leaders.
Another issue discussed that piqued my interest is the lack of entrepreneurship and Singaporeans who desire to be business owners. One reason cited is the government’s ‘overwhelming dominance of the domestic economy’ – from being the largest employer, to the long reach of its state-linked firms, and its micro-management right down to how many children we should have.
This resulted in citizens who ‘lack initiative, motivation and creativity’.
I am born and bred completely in Singapore and I dare say that becoming my own boss is one of my dreams. It has never occurred to me to remain as an employee so as to bring home a fixed income. Perhaps I am one who is less concerned about monetary pursuits or simply because God has blessed me in every phase of my life so I never felt needy or insecure.
I graduated from Accountancy but instead of landing a iron-bowl job as an accountant/auditor, I gave that all up to be a self-employed financial adviser at a time when they were synonymous with insurance agents. I went on to become a fund accountant, did my stint as system support analyst and now doing online marketing.
It might seem that I possibly lack direction in my career choices… possibly but every experience I gleam is a gem to me. No job experience is ever wasted as long as one commits to it.
Among my colleagues, I see a few bright gems and they are the ones who aren’t stifled by difficulties or negativity. These are the kind of people who will make a difference wherever they go.
At the end of the day, the government lays policies to encourage certain behavior from us. But there is nothing stopping us from going the other way as long as it is within legal limits. Everything boils down the way we are brought up and the values that are inculcated into us. Instead of lamenting about how controlled we are, I am thankful that I am not a persecuted Christian or a woman with no rights. Because of that I can become whoever I want to be.