Dangerous to rest on laurels

I was shocked and perturbed to learn that the majority of the 4,000 Singapore citizens who took part in an Our Singapore Conversation exercise in January were prepared to trade off economic growth for a slower pace of life ("Majority want slower pace of life"; last Monday).

This is a sure recipe for national disaster.

Singapore rose from a Third World nation to an enviable First World one through the people's sheer hard work in a fast-paced and competitive world.

This, in turn, attracted foreigners to invest their money and talents in Singapore.

Being a tiny island devoid of natural resources, and with a population of only 5.3 million, Singapore cannot afford to slow down for any reason, especially when other nations are shifting into faster gear to compete and overtake us.

Instead of slowing down and trading off economic growth to achieve work-life balance, we should seek other solutions.

For example, there could be better management of personal time. Employers could also adopt flexible working hours and improve staff welfare further, in exchange for staff loyalty and increased productivity.

Economic growth is a prerequisite to attaining a better family and social life.

If we slow down, all the hard work and sacrifices made by the people, mainly the older generation, and the Government would go down the drain.

The fast-paced life and competition in Singapore are inevitable. There might be a tendency for some of us to rest on our laurels now that we have attained success. Such a feeling is dangerous and we have to check ourselves.

Pavithran Vidyadharan

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