Apparently, Singaporeans aren’t very optimistic about the future. A 2016 survey found that Singaporean millennials are amongst the world’s gloomiest, with only Japan, Greece and Italy (countries with economies that seem to be in permanent decline) faring worse.
About half of the Singapore millennials surveyed felt pessimistic about their immediate career prospects.
Does that mean that Singapore’s glory days are over? Are the only things we have to look forward to a rising cost of living and an increasingly cut-throat working environment?
Well, guess what, it’s not all doom and gloom. Far from it.
There are actually a few things coming up in the next few years that Singaporeans can be very happy about, and that can really boost our quality of life, such as the following.
Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System and Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail
One of the biggest bugbears of young Singapareans is the fact that things just keep getting more and more expensive, and we are working and harder and harder to afford them.
Meanwhile, just across the Causeway, everything from restaurant meals to contact lens solution is half the price.
In a few years’ time, Singaporeans will be able to zip over to Malaysia without having to queue for hours at the Causeway.
The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System is expected to be completed in 2024, and will carry up to 10,000 passengers across the Causeway every hour. For Singaporeans who want to cafe hop over the weekend without having to pay high prices, JB might just be their new weekend hangout in 6 years’ time.
The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail will be another gamechanger. Slated for completion in 2026, the High Speed Rail will have trains running every 30 minutes, and connect Singapore to KL in 90 minutes.
This will certainly be welcome news for Singaporeans who want to party, shop and eat in KL over the weekend.
More alternative modes of transport
Singaporeans have pretty much given up hope on the MRT system. And with the vehicle growth rate having been adjusted to 0%, it looks like owning a car will be even more out-of-reach for future generations.
So thank goodness there are more and more alternative modes of transport to help Singaporeans get from Point A to Point B in more comfort than a packed-like-sardines MRT carriage can offer.
Electric car-sharing service BlueSG is very promising, especially as it can sometimes be even cheaper than taking taxis, and enables Singaporeans to drive to their destination without having to buy an actual car.
We also have high hopes for bike-sharing. This mode of transport has had a rough start and bike-sharing networks are currently very limited and confined to the suburbs, but it is hoped that an island-wide bike-sharing network will eventually be created, and that the road infrastructure will be improved to enhance safety for cyclists.
Flexi-work becoming the norm
While local employers started out quite reluctant to loosen their grip on their employees, flexi-work arrangements are slowly but surely becoming more common in Singapore.
Since its launch in 2013, 1,500 businesses have taken advantage of the government’s Work-Life Grant. Admittedly, that’s not a terribly impressive start.
But as older bosses retire and new blood takes over, hopefully old-fashioned insistance on face-time will decrease, and flexible work arrangements will become the norm.
Thanks to the Internet and teleconferencing, more and more people will be able to do their jobs from home.
Already, some businesses are starting to realise that retaining talent is a huge problem, and one way to reduce the attrition rate is to offer employees flexibility wherever possible.
We still have a long way to go, but we’re hopeful that in time, flexible work arrangements will be a lot easier to come by, and that this will have a positive effect on the morale and engagement of our local workforce.
Are you feeling optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Tell us why in the comments.
Here are some other things Singapore can look forward to: