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A Better
Quality of Life

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A good quality of life does not hinge solely on financial security. Singaporeans are just as much social creatures as people all over the world, and people thrive in societies that nurture imagination, ideas and critical thought. People also live more comfortably when they have ample space and the calmness of nature to serve as solace from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life.

Go to any kopitiam in Singapore and you’ll hear a hundred opinions from the uncles and aunties there on anything under the sun. Sadly, those opinions are largely restricted to the confines of those coffeeshops. There is still a climate of fear that pervades our nation. Singaporeans do not dare to speak freely regarding their beliefs, dreading potential punishment that comes with crossing the invisible “OB markers”.

I have never seen a dog leashed to a pole its whole life that is happy. What more us, humans? Instead of creating an environment that nurtures ideation and dialogue, the government chokes us with more draconian laws that shift the goalposts of those invisible “OB markers”, striking more fear and uncertainty in the hearts of Singaporeans.

Besides the stranglehold on speech, our living environment today is more cramped and high-piled with concrete. Singapore used to be a true “garden city”, with lush, sprawling greenery amidst residential buildings. But what a difference 15 years makes. Now, we see more congested housing developments and less green spaces as they are being rapidly bulldozed one after another. The government has constantly denied that it is planning for a population of 10 million, so why the need to tear apart nature for more housing complexes and commercial buildings?

I strongly believe after listening to the concerns of many Singaporeans that our society must evolve to encourage a freer exchange of ideas. This will not subvert justice, but strengthen the will and reach of justice, as I have argued in parliament with regards to the Parti Liyani case. I also believe that there must be a balance between man-made artificial green developments and nature. One Gardens by the Bay does not compensate for the lost hectares of natural forest that future generations of Singaporeans will never get to enjoy.

I have spoken on this quality of life issue in parliament, and in the articles I’ve written in my capacity as a parliamentarian. Please take a look at the speeches and articles below.