SINGAPORE - The year 2014 promises to be a challenging one for Singapore.
Besides the bread-and-butter issues concerning cost of living, housing, transport and health care, we also need to think about the broader issues of economics and politics.
On the economic front, Singaporeans have to understand that fewer foreign workers and foreign professionals means slower growth and, hence, fewer jobs and other opportunities.
Unless people are able to work smarter and raise productivity all the time, it would not be possible to have fewer foreign workers and an improving quality of life with a growing economy.
In terms of politics, it has become harder to govern Singapore.
The Internet has provided easier communication and higher productivity, and has simplified some tasks such as banking, shopping and liaising with government departments.
However, it also gives a voice to the man in the street, disseminating his views - regardless of whether they are sensible, balanced and logical, or not. People have to be responsible for what they write and put on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and other social media; but that is easier said than done.
Good and bad ideas get mixed up in the cacophony. It is hard to hear our leaders amid all the noise.
What happens when social media becomes dominant?
Will Singaporeans be able to see which ideas and proposals are good for the country and support them consistently?
Or will we fumble and fall before we learn to make the correct decisions?
Mano Sabnani (Reader)
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