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Netizens disappointed over omission by Forward SG Report on rising cost of living

Netizens express disappointment and skepticism over the Forward Singapore report, criticizing the oversight of escalating living costs and questioning the government’s commitment to genuine partnership and practical solutions.



SINGAPORE: After a 16-month-long feedback exercise that garnered the perspectives of over 200,000 Singaporeans and stakeholders, the Forward Singapore (Forward SG) report, spanning approximately 180 pages, was unveiled on Friday (Oct 27) by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

DPM Wong characterized the exercise as a guiding “roadmap” for Singapore’s future under the stewardship of the nation’s fourth-generation leaders.

Anticipating a series of detailed announcements in the upcoming months, including during Budget 2024, the report will outline various policy adjustments and recommendations. These adjustments will be focused on critical areas such as education, employment, family support, assistance for seniors and vulnerable groups, sustainability, and the cohesive strength of society.

The recommendations were derived from 275 interactive partnerships and engagement sessions, comprising both physical and virtual interactions conducted in diverse formats, including role-playing exercises.

In response to mounting global geopolitical tensions and internal challenges, including an aging population and concerns about diminishing social mobility, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Wong emphasized Singapore’s pivotal juncture in June last year, labelling it a “crossroads.”

Positioned as a likely successor to the role of Singapore’s Prime Minister, Mr Wong announced the launch of the Forward SG initiative led by the nation’s fourth-generation leaders.

The primary goal of this initiative was to construct a comprehensive roadmap for the future and to revitalize the foundation of Singapore’s “social compact,” which he described as the cohesive force that binds society together.

The report acknowledged an evolution in the perspective of the younger generation, with a growing emphasis on seeking purpose and fulfilment in their careers beyond mere financial success. This signifies a broader interpretation of success beyond material gains.

Outlined in the report are seven pivotal shifts that aim to enhance the quality of life for the majority of society, including their children, while ensuring continued support for the most vulnerable segments of the population.

The report emphasized the need for collective participation from all sectors of society — individuals, communities, and businesses — to facilitate the realization of these objectives.

Disappointed over exclusion of rising cost of living concerns in report

Upon reviewing the sentiments expressed by netizens across various Singaporean mainstream media platforms such as the Straits Times and CNA a mixed reception to the government’s efforts in addressing a range of socio-economic issues has emerged.

While some acknowledged the government’s proactive measures, others voiced concerns about certain key issues being left unaddressed.

A segment of netizens expressed disappointment at the report’s apparent oversight of critical concerns, particularly the pressing issue of the rising cost of living, which significantly impacts the daily lives of ordinary Singaporeans.

Commenting on CNA’s Facebook post, a netizen highlighted the urgency of addressing the mounting cost of living. They emphasized that without concerted efforts to curb these inflationary pressures, achieving a purposeful life for the majority of Singaporeans remains a challenging prospect.

Echoing similar concerns, another comment emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and alleviating the burdens associated with the rising cost of living.

The comment underscored the detrimental impact of escalating medical expenses and living costs, which can swiftly transform aspirations into a distressing reality once the bills begin to accumulate.

Furthermore, the Facebook user shared insights from their mother’s peers, highlighting the pervasive fear of falling ill and incurring substantial medical expenses.

One comment astutely pointed out that addressing the issue of inflation could be achieved through either lowering the cost of living or increasing wages to meet the rising expenses.

However, the netizen expressed scepticism about the government’s ability to comprehend this dilemma.

Skepticism on Government’s “partnership” call

During a press conference on Friday (27 Oct) to announce the launch of the Forward Singapore Festival, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Wong reiterated the government’s commitment to engaging Singaporeans in finding solutions, stressing a departure from the top-down approach.

DPM Wong emphasized,  “This is more than just an engagement exercise. It’s really a partnership. And that partnership is between Government, people, community groups, employers, businesses. It encompasses our tripartite partnership, but it’s really a whole-of-Singapore partnership.”

Mr Wong, who spearheaded the People’s Action Party’s fourth-generation (4G) team in the nationwide engagement exercise, highlighted the inclusive nature of the initiative.

However, some netizens, in a satirical tone, raised concerns regarding the lack of perceived partnership, particularly in addressing the issue of rising costs.

Instances such as the sharp increase in COE prices and the challenges surrounding HDB housing have led many to question the extent to which the government truly collaborates with its citizens in tackling these pressing concerns.

“Singapore Dream”

In response to DPM Wong’s statement regarding the evolution of the “Singapore Dream” beyond material success, one netizen presented an alternative perspective, raising crucial points about the core aspirations of Singaporeans.

He highlighted the significance of owning a car, considered essential for fulfilling travel needs, drawing parallels with other modern societies like Malaysia and China. Additionally, the netizen emphasized the importance of having a spacious and comfortable home that accommodates both parents and children, eliminating the necessity for married children to relocate.

Furthermore, the netizen emphasized the need for worker-centric policies that discourage monopolistic practices, subsequently keeping prices and inflation rates in check.

The comment indicated a lack of confidence in the significance of the ‘SG report,’ portraying it as nothing more than a tool employed to manipulate public sentiment

Netizens express concerns over skill development programs

In addition to the ongoing discourse, netizens have delved into various initiatives outlined in the report.

One particular discussion centred on the efficacy of the SkillsFuture program in aiding mid-career Singaporeans. A netizen raised a crucial question regarding the practicality of the program, highlighting that a large portion of the courses are inadequately structured to impart substantial skills, rendering them unrecognized by potential employers.

Another comment suggested an alternative approach, proposing the implementation of a Progressive Wage system for mid-career Singaporeans who potentially earn below the median income.

The proposal aimed to establish a mechanism that would help level the playing field and ensure equitable compensation for individuals facing income disparities.

Meanwhile, a different comment drew attention to the apparent absence of a focus on sporting excellence within the plan, hinting that the ministers may have overlooked the potential of sports to “unite Singaporeans”

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The Singapore economy is really bad and there are NO JOBS!!!

Meanwhile the US economy is growing at a scorching 4.9%!!! US economic growth accelerated to 4.9% in third quarter (
PAP basturds have really screwed up the Singapore economy in spite of their highest salaries in the world!!!

Another Economic Restructuring on the horizon. Bet.

Not matter how many of such motherhood conversations the pappies put forward ,the sticking problem of rotting governance and rising COL persisted and have of late deteriorated even further.Let’s see how many more GRCs the incumbent will loose this coming GE.So sad to witness such bad things are actually happening in our once sunny Singapore.🇸🇬.

Taman Jurong Pineapple Tarts Lover :

1) Increase GST
2) Increase PUB utilities
3) Increase COE, ERP
4) Increase Food Prices
5) Increase Housing prices
6) Increase Cost of Living
7) Increase Transport fares
8) Increase Hospital and Medical costs
9) Increase Foreigners intake, increase job losses
10) etc etc etc

I concur this exercise is another SOP where they surveyed on what they wanted hear OR..

These 200k plus are from within the elite circle or privileged groups of the well to do people.

Don’t waste time on these types of template results. Get real please!

Unless of course, the 200 or so thousand that was purported to have contributed to this “cock and bull” hadn’t mentioned about the impact of the rise in cost of living, … … they should be outraged, that it hadn’t been mentioned in any shape or form !!!

None of the seven pivotal points would take off, … if the severe hardship caused by the cost of living crisis, knocks you off of your otherwise peaceful, pleasant and pro~pap existence !!!

What a load of tripe this is !!!

This PAP Administration turned their eyes blind when needed, dumped their hearts out of morality when convenient – BUT PRAISE themselves EFFERVESCENTLY, CONSISTENTLY when citizens blinded them for being COLD HEARTED

Grace Fu hasn’t said ANYTHING about what comes after 30 by 30 (30% of food locally produced by 2030). That’s singularly UNAMBITIOUS. I mean, look at our population policies. It has always been INCREASING.

No … say 40% by 2035 objective? Why? Because all “spare” land, Turf Club takeover etc … are reserved for building yet more HDB flats (ie: eaters)? NO space catered for growing more food locally? Or is the problem/conundrum BEYOND her million dollar salary mind to solve?