Singapore Incorporation or Singapore Inc
The term Singapore Incorporation was coined many years back as Singaporeans answered to the call to build up this country, nation building, sacrifices, tightening belt, national service, changing of mindsets to move into HDB flats, restraints in labour unrest and work stoppages. We have gone past those days and Singapore has prospered. We have GLCs and Temasek's list of Singapore owned companies to complement a huge bureaucracy of ministries. And today we boast of $200 billion of national reserves and invested to generate more wealth. And when the govt is running out of budget there are all the taxes to be raised from the people to finance whatever the govt decides is good for the people. Amidst all the wealth and well beings, a growing segment of the population is facing increasing hardship and are falling on the wayside. This brings to mind the wealth of the nation or of the people accumulated and invested over the years on one extreme and the poverty and hardship of Singaporeans on the other. What is the purpose of creating all these wealth for th nation while some citizens are crying for help? Who is benefitting from all these wealth? The nation or country is like a household and the citizens the members of the household. After the acquisition of all the durables, ie infrastructures, the savings and investments, the income or revenue generated must be for the citizens or family members to live a better life. The revenue from the country has been reinvested or ploughed back to the nation in many forms that benefitted the general public. Couldn't some of this be returned to the people who badly needed it to live their lives, to get by and be a little less stressful in their life struggles? Could the people see the returns on the govt's investments as a return on their investments and look forward to a little dividend annually, or bonus issues? Singapore Inc will make more sense when the people can see their welfare and well being, their relative prosperity being linked to how well our investments and revenue grows. For the moment the only people who are happy are the fund managers and those managing the investments. Not enough have trickled down to the poorer citizens. Choktong did briefly mentioned about a formula to share this wealth of the nation. Nothing comes from it after that statement. We have the Singapore Shares, the Economic Restructuring Shares etc which can be seen as moving along this direction. The people will be greatly heartened if a formula is announced that the people are genuinely the beneficiaries of the nation's wealth. Singapore Inc will then have a more tangible meaning and closer to the hearts of the average and below average Singaporeans. The people need to believe and see that they are really the co owners of this island state and that they will prosper and live a better life as the nation prospers. The sharing of the nation's wealth shall be carefully formulated and not given as a charity or in the form of ComCare. Such funds for the needy Singapore is a different issue and hopefully will be made redundant when the people can share the wealth of the nation in a respectful and systematic manner rather than to beg for it on grounds of poverty and hardship.