Are Singaporeans myopic?


A first glance at the title, one would not be too sure what I’m referring to. In medical terms, myopic means short-sightedness and that’s exactly what I’m trying to say. As we develop as a society, we have become more vocal in our opinions, especially online and after the recent GE. It’s a good thing of course but if we dwell deeper in to some of the reasons why such opposition is raised at a certain issue, we can see that at times, the reasons are just plain short-sightedness on the part of the contributor.

Take for example the Bukit Brown cementery issue. So much has been raised about the destruction of nature, heritage, biodiversity etc and the list goes on and on. Mind you, I’m also all for conservation of nature, heritage etc, but I’m also a pragmatic person. Let’s take a step back and look at what is essentially being done for Singapore’s future development. Firstly, the entire BB cementery has already been earmarked as future housing development, although that won’t happen any time soon. But, the fact of the matter is basic infrastructure have to start somewhere at a certain point in time. Right now, it’s just a simple case of alleviating traffic at Adam and Leonie roads. However, as the road network becomes more developed at the later stages, other amenities like more buses plying along that stretch of road or maybe even mrt extension may be considered. When that happens, the time is ripe to start construction of public/private housing and other amenities ; in other words planning a whole new town (called Bukit Brown perhaps). With a growing and ageing population, space is much more needed for the living than with all due respect, the dead.

Let’s face it, Singapore is not getting any larger; whatever land that we’re able to reclaim have been reclaimed and all means to free up more space for housing and other needs have been constantly looked at. Even with such a low fertitility rate our population is still growing because most of us are living longer due to proper diet and a host of other reasons. We can in theory curtail or drastically reduce the growth of non-Singaporeans by erecting draconian laws such as for an x number of new citizens or PRs, and equal amount of those already here must leave, either by forced cancellation of permits or revoking PR status. In reality though, would such a law work? While the Singapore born babies are growing up, the economy has to keep going in the positive direction in order for the parents of these children to be able to feed and clothe them right? Singapore’s only asset that keeps getting the foreign investors coming in is our brain power, local bred and/or imported. If we have that myopic thinking that the foreigners are robbing our livelihood as well as our children’s future livelihood, then it will indeed be a self fullfilling prophecy that one day, Singapore won’t belong to Singaporeans anymore.

It’s easy to criticise an idea but are the alternative solutions really more viable then the original idea? It’s hard to say but if each of us takes a more practical and longer term view of things, I’m quite sure there’ll be a lot less friction and a lot more agreements. So, are Singaporeans myopic? I’ll leave that answer to yourselves.

by my2centsidea
Source : Singaporeans Say
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