Save for a rainy day, advises Khaw

Alicia Wong

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan advises Singaporeans to save for rainy days. (AFP)

Amidst the financial turmoil plaguing America and Europe, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has reminded Singaporeans to save for a rainy day.

"Sometimes you get fine weather, sometimes rainy. But if you have always saved for the rainy day, you'll be pretty steady and safe," he was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Speaking at the sidelines of a National Day observance ceremony in Sembawang on Sunday, Minister Khaw noted that even saving S$100 out of S$1,000 each month would go a long way in sheltering Singaporeans during rainy days.

The Americans and the Europeans are in a fix because they did not save and overspent, the Today newspaper reported him saying.

He made these comments after Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam's warning of a tough three to four years ahead for Singapore given the slow growth and possible bouts of recessions in the most advanced economies.

Minister Khaw also pointed out the need for political leaders to have foresight and "tell people what is unpleasant sometimes".

Using Japan as an example, he said while the Japanese were much better in managing debt, the political leadership was always trying to be popular instead of rallying people to do the right thing.

For the past 20 years, Japanese leaders said things which people liked to hear but what people like to hear, may sometimes not be the right thing, he added.

"To lead, you must be able to see first further, and tell people what is unpleasant sometimes," he said. "I try to say what's right," he added. "Pleasant or unpleasant to me, is not as important as what is right, what is rational."