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25 Jun 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 649
Making changes in Singapore

Someone asked me -  I have read your suggestions on the many things that are wrong in Singapore and need to be changed. Some of your suggestions will take a long time to be implemented and some may not work at all. If you are in charge, what can you really do?

Here is my reply.

I will implement the changes that have the least disruption and create the most impact. Here are the changes that I will make quite urgently. 

a) Abolish GST. It will reduce $11 billion in revenue, but our budget will still be in surplus. This reduction could reduce the cost of living by up to 10% and release the consumer spending to boost the local economy.

b) Reduce NS reservist duty to 5 years. For full time NS men, I will allow them to spend the 2nd year in skill training according to their choice. After a few years, the full time NS will be reduced to 1 year. 

c) Allow members to take out 50% of their CPF savings at 55 and the remainder at 65. However, I will provide attractive options for them to re-invest their savings with the CPF in a term deposit, monthly drawdown scheme or CPF life annuity, and give them a yield of 4%. I will also get CPF to employ mentors to guide the members on their investment choices.

d) Introduce a scheme to allow expiring HDB leases to be extended for 5 to 10 years by paying a lease extension premium at an affordable rate. This will help to keep the value of the HDB flat.

e) Make it voluntary for workers to contribute to CPF. Some of them may wish to use the money to rent a HDB flat or room. Contribution by employers will be at a flat 20% for full time workers. 

f) Start a program to build a child care center in each neighborhood and to train workers to take care of the children. The child care fees will be highly subsidized for up to three children in a family. This will encourage parents to have more children. It will also create jobs for full and part time workers to take care of the children.

g) Exercise stronger financial control over infrastructure and iconic projects and defense spending to divert the resources to improve the lives of the people.

h) Reduce the salaries of ministers and political office bearers and freeze the salaries of the top earners in the public sector.

The above measures can be implemented quite quickly and improve the confidence of the people. It will also boost the domestic economy through higher disposable income from the workers.

The other measures will take a longer time to implement, as they may have negative impact on some groups of people. This will be studied and implemented

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - do you agree with the above approach?


Agree: 27  Disagree: 2  Vote