The Straits Times

This category contains 265 posts

Offer Details And Strategies To Help Financially-Strapped Older Singaporeans

While “the proportion of older Singaporeans who could meet their monthly household expenses and have some money left over increased by about half to 30 per cent from 2009 to 2017” (ST, May 10), the fact that 70.5 per cent of the 4,500 Singaporeans and permanent residents surveyed – aged 60 and above – believe that they have not been able to adequately meet their daily expenses warrants a deeper examination of the extent to which the elderly in the country are actually financially strapped, whether the combination of individual savings or personal income sources with familial and governmental support remains sustainable, and if there are serious systemic issues to be addressed. And if the cited factors for increased financial inadequacy, by the researchers, include the higher costs of living and rising healthcare expenses, for instance, what are the policies or strategies which might help alleviate the financial situation? Continue reading

Be More Deliberate About Religious And Interfaith Dialogue

Unfortunately, absent from the call “to educate our people to be a little more thick-skinned, to not be so easily offended by mere words or opinions” (ST, May 4) is an evaluation and specification of how religious and interfaith dialogues should be designed or strengthened, and in this vein seems to ignore: First, that there are differing opinions within the same religions and faiths, and that it should not be assumed that unelected religious leaders or their congregations necessarily speak for their Singaporean counterparts (and moreover that decentralisation from these leaders could be explored); second, that such dialogues – with potentially more effective approaches and with more diverse representation – also exist independently beyond the government and non-profits such as the Singapore Kindness Movement; and third, that those who do not identify with a religion or faith are often excluded from the process. Continue reading

Set National And Personal Goals For Lifelong Learning

Implicit in the focus on adult and lifelong learning is the desire to raise labour productivity levels in Singapore, though in this pursuit of greater economic competitiveness and a stronger meritocracy of skills – “where people gain satisfaction from learning at every stage of life … as well as from mastering the skill and being part of a community of learners” (ST, Apr. 26) – shifting socio-cultural mindsets to be more proactive and to participate is as important as increasing the number of educational opportunities. In setting broader goals, in this vein, it would be productive for the government to consider the eagerness of Singaporeans, their willingness and ability to balance work, family, and personal commitments with training and development, and their future trajectories. Continue reading

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