Extravagance of the young troubling

I can't help but baulk at the excesses of free-spending young people who fritter $25,000 on a single night of partying as described in the reports "Students by day... big spenders by night" and "We filled up entire swimming pool with champagne" (The New Paper on Sunday, May 5).

It's not a case of sour grapes, although I must concede I envy the young people for not being encumbered by humdrum concerns such as whether there will be enough to retire on and how much their offspring's university education is going to cost them some day.

Then again, I don't begrudge them their money. After all, it must have been the result of the sweat, toil and keen business acumen of their parents who choose to share the spoils and lavish the lucre on their children.

What is perhaps hard to swallow is the wanton extravagance of these young people who live life to the hilt in their own bubble of "theatrics", where the spending is just an ostentatious show to outdo one another.

Being young, it is perhaps only natural for them to live it up without a thought that their actions breach the boundaries of moral decency.

It is hoped that, in time, some may learn to rein in their excesses and use their wealth for the betterment of society.

The article "Can you afford to retire?" (in the same edition of the paper) served as a sobering counterpoint that highlighted the fears of heartlanders about the rising costs of living, which will leave little for a comfortable retirement.

It strikes me that while Singapore may now be a "sexy" island for the rarefied few, life seems to have become a daily grind for the hoi polloi, who wonder if their hard slog is enough to afford a better future for their children or provide sustenance in their twilight years.

Marietta Koh

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