Out of sight but not out of mind: Singaporeans living abroad will get a chance to pen their thoughts on their home country's future in an online contest opening tomorrow.
"My Future SG" invites Singaporean expatriates to write home about their ideal future for the country.
In less than 100 words, they must discuss aspects of Singapore, drawing on what they have observed and experienced in their host countries.
They stand to win round trips to Singapore, as well as tickets to the Sing50 concert this August.
The contest has been organised in celebration of SG50 by Contact Singapore, an agency of the Economic Development Board and Ministry of Manpower.
One of Contact's aims is to keep Singaporeans abroad informed of developments here, especially those related to work and industry.
Contact's executive director Ng Siew Kiang said: "Even though they live in all parts of the world, we hope they remain connected to Singapore and can contribute their ideas and experience to make Singapore an even better community, city and country."
The contest will be open until June 21, with a different topic for each of the five weeks. These will include work-life balance this week, and healthcare and education in later weeks.
Singaporeans or permanent residents living overseas and aged 18 and above are eligible to enter.
A panel of judges from Contact and media partner The Straits Times will review the entries and select the top three for each topic. They will then be put to a public vote from June 29 to July 5.
The three ideas with the most votes will be featured in The Straits Times. They will also be shared on Contact's Facebook page.
The prize for the most popular entry is two economy-class return tickets to Singapore, as well as four Sing50 concert tickets. The other two ideas will also win a pair of concert tickets each.
Meanwhile, 10 voters stand to win Amazon gift cards worth US$10 (S$13).
Ms Shermaine Wong, 30, who resides in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with her husband, a manager in a tourism organisation, said: "When you live overseas, you get to both appreciate and critique a lot of things that Singapore might or might not have."
Living in Vietnam, she said, has made her better appreciate the safety of roads here. But Singapore could also learn from the comprehensive wireless infrastructure in cities like Da Nang.
Literature and philosophy student Michael Wee, 23, who studies at Durham University in England, said: "The contest is a good way of engaging overseas Singaporeans, many of whom care passionately about Singaporean issues and desire to be part of the national dialogue and have their voices heard."
This article was first published on May 17, 2015.
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