SINGAPORE: The younger generation in Singapore are developing their own definition of success, and the Government will need to co-create the right social compact for their time, Dr Maliki Osman said in Parliament on Thursday (May 17).
Dr Maliki, who was speaking on the fourth day of debates on the President’s Address, touched on the importance of understanding the concerns and aspirations of millennials as they will inherit and actively shape Singapore’s future.
President Halimah Yacob said in her speech last week that Singapore’s fourth generation leadership will "work in concert" with young Singaporeans, and must "fire up" and mobillise their spirit and energy.
In highlighting the mindset of youths today, Dr Maliki said that the Singaporean dream of possessing the 5Cs – cash, car, credit card, condominium and a country card membership - was “in the past” and that millennials are developing their own definition of success.
“Our youths today crave memorable and purposeful experiences that emphasise the importance of the journey, instead of being fixated with the destination,” explained Dr Maliki, who is senior minister of state for defence and foreign affairs.
He added that the youths want to be excited about where they live, work and play, encapsulated by the You Only Live Once (YOLO) attitude.
“To this end, our youths can look forward to raising families in homes that will boast both physical and digital connectivity. Just imagine, by leveraging artificial intelligence, smart homes could render current day household chores an afterthought,” Dr Maliki said.
Meanwhile at work, he added that millennials will come to grips with the challenges of participating in the extremely competitive global labour marketplace.
“More will job hop, with high attrition rates in some professions – because just earning money is not enough – young people want to know that they have made a difference. They look for new experiences and learn new things as they know the possession of single or static skillsets is not sufficient to thrive amid the competition,” he said.
Dr Maliki added that millennials also enjoy hunting down “Instagram-worthy hangouts” and participating in various arts or sporting events, and so Singapore must be able to cater to such leisure activities.
“To satisfy this new generation’s thirst for novel experiences, this government will need to partner our citizens to redefine the meaning of success, and recognise that paradoxically, it might be one that continually shifts and always gives us something new and better to aspire towards,” he said.
Recognising that e-commerce has changed the retail experience, making it possible for millennials to now make purchases from the comfort of home at just the click of a button, Dr Maliki stressed that the Singapore Public Service must reimagine the way it delivers its services.
"This issues a clarion call to the government to raise our standards of public service delivery to satisfy the expectations of our people. This is our opportunity to reimagine many areas of governance such as housing, health, social services, education and transportation," he added.
FOMO CO-CREATING SINGAPORE’S FUTURE
Referring to the concept of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) - a prevalent mindset of apprehension among youths that they will miss out on something great - Dr Maliki stressed that there is “huge potential” for young Singaporeans to participate in co-creation and take ownership of Singapore.
For example, he cited how younger Singaporeans have participated in city design and policy formulation in the Housing Development Boards’ Adventure Playground @ Canberra.
He said the playground, in the Canberra housing estate in Sembawang, has features conceptualised, designed and built by residents.
“About 1,800 people were involved through design workshops, roadshows and surveys. The outcome is a facility that is fun for young residents, with design elements that reflect the precinct’s heritage,” he said.