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Singapore’s SM Goh reinvents “Singapore Dream”

Singapore’s SM Goh reinvents “Singapore Dream”

In keeping with the theme for the National Day Parade, SM Goh reinvents the 5 Cs for Singaporeans. -AsiaOne

Sun, Aug 08, 2010

Singapore’s Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong, delived his National Day Dinner speech at Marine Parade Central with emphasis on reinventing the 5 Cs – cash, credit cards, car, condominium, and country club membership – that Singaporeans so dearly chase.

SM Goh did a little walk down memory lane telling his audience about his childhood and the conditions he grew up in.

He explained how the dreams of Singaporeans then were different to what they are now.

He said: “So our dream was caricatured as “1, 2, 3, 4″ – one wife, two children, 3-room flat and four wheels. Why only two children? You may remember the family planning slogan of “Stop at Two” at that time.”

Eventually, the Singapore dream was elevated to the 5 Cs in the 90s.

SM Goh noted that today’s generation, Gen Y, find fulfillment in more than just the 5 Cs.

He said: “They are putting more emphasis on leading a rounded, fulfilling life. They want work-life balance. They are active in sports and the arts. Many leave good paying jobs to pursue their passion or dreams.

“I have met a couple of young men who left their banking jobs to become chefs. I have a friend whose daughter has just graduated but chose to train as a yoga instructor. She wants to specialise in hot yoga, i.e. yoga practised in high room temperature. My friend accepts her daughter’s choice of career so long as she finds satisfaction in what she is doing.

“Our young have a sense of adventure. They climb mountains, sail the high seas, motor-biked around the world and travel extensively. But they do not think only of themselves. Many participate in volunteer programmes. They contribute to charity. They are active in NGOs and are concerned about humanitarian and green issues.”

However, he still emphasised on the importance of “”1 wife and 2 children”…In my view, having a family is a vital part of a fulfilling life. It should be at the core of every Singapore Dream.”

He then went on to reinvent the 5 Cs and shared what the government will do to create a ground for stability to fulfill dreams:

“If I have to reinvent the 5Cs, my dream is to help create the conditions for a generation of Singaporeans to have a good Career, live in Comfort, surrounded by Children, and be Considerate and Charitable.”

“More than just a job or a means to earn a living, Career means constantly striving to be better in your chosen field. No improvement is too small. It is also about realising your full potential and a basis for individual self-respect and dignity.

“Comfort means material as well as emotional comfort. You do not need to have a lot of wealth but you must have enough to enjoy a comfortable life. You must also have the right attitude towards life. Otherwise, whatever you have will not be enough for you and you will never be contented.

“Children refer to home and family and a new cycle of life. They are the main reasons why many of us want to have a good Career and a Comfortable home.

“Beyond self and family, we want to contribute to and live harmoniously in a larger community. That is where the last 2Cs – to be Considerate and Charitable – come in.

“Being considerate includes having regard for the feelings and needs of others in our speech and actions. Just as we do not want to be hurt by others’ inconsiderate remarks, we should not pass hurtful remarks of others. This goes beyond family members, friends and neighbours.

“We should be especially considerate, given the potential divisions inherent in our society – divisions between different races and different religions, between Singaporeans and foreigners, and between the young and old.

“Being Charitable is not just about giving money but your time and effort to help the less fortunate. It means compassion and empathy for others in difficulties.

“This is my hope for Singapore. But you should have your own dream. I cannot dream for you; the government cannot dream for you. What the government will do is to create the fertile soil for you to sow and grow your dreams.

“The first essential condition is a vibrant and growing economy. Such an economy will offer many opportunities and well-paid, challenging jobs.

“The second essential condition is a quality education system. We will be spending more on education and life-long worker training.

“The changes being made to our education system are transformational and exciting. They will reach out to every Singaporean and at every level, taking into account our children’s different abilities and interests.

“At the top end, young Singaporeans will have more universities and more pathways to choose from. At the lower end, we have paid special attention to those who are academically weak through dedicated schools like Northlight School (NLS) and Assumption Pathway School (APS).

“These schools have more teachers per student to provide closer supervision and stronger pastoral care and support. These two schools are showing good results. They will serve as useful models for more such schools to be set up later.

“With all these developments, whatever your child’s talent, be it academic or non-academic, he or she will be better prepared to work and live in a globalised economy.

SM Goh’s speech was in keeping with the theme for this year’s National Day Parade that is is “Live Our Dreams, Fly our Flag”.

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Reader Feedback

2 Responses to “Singapore’s SM Goh reinvents “Singapore Dream””

  1. You have impeccable writing skills! You make some valid points with which I agree and I think this is really great reading material. Thank you.

  2. Joel Perdew says:

    I drive a 13-year-old car, too (it’s a ’96 model, but it was manufactured in November 1995). The way I see it, when you buy a car, you might get a good one and you might get a lemon, but when you have 170,000 miles on a car, you know you have a good one.

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