YOUR VIEW: 'A Singapore where people can take time off from the rat race'

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I believe it is good for Singaporeans to talk about things that concern us and to have a say in the future. It appears that there are many views out there and we need to come to a consensus in order to move forward. We may not all agree to the same solution, but at least this "national conversation" will allow different viewpoints to be heard.

This National Day Rally offered a good preview of some of the questions that we should think about and there are really no easy answers to them. PM Lee asked: 'What's the next chapter in the Singapore Story?' We have come from third world to first. What comes next then?

For me, I hope to have a Singapore where a person can afford to slow down if  they want to, and know that they will not be left behind.

Currently, there's a very obvious economic cost if a person chooses to take things at a more leisurely pace, and that should not be the case.

Many people feel that such "slower" path is only for people who “cannot make it” in life. This perception needs to change.

Life is not just about how much money you have, the type of car you drive or the type of house you live in. If we ever want to become a society filled with hope and people with bigger hearts, we will need to have people willing to take time off from the rat race and devote time to pursue their dreams, spend more time with their loved ones or helping society at large.

As the Singapore populace grows more diverse, there needs to be different pathways for different people, and they should not be penalised for their choices. I like what PM said about multiple education pathways as this would offer more choices for my children.

Something I would like to contribute to the national conversation is the waiting time for new HDB flats. I hope it can be shortened. I have friends who are planning to get married but just can’t because they do not have a house ready to move into yet. If the waiting time for flats can be shortened further, it will encourage them to get married earlier and hopefully, have children earlier.

We have achieved a lot as a people and nation in the last 47 years and we should be proud of it.

This national conversation will allow people like me to be heard and I am glad it is happening.

Lee Chun Hwee, 41
Consultant, Operations Improvement

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