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Three years on, a changed S'pore

The Straits Times | Saturday, Apr 19, 2014

During the last general election, public sentiment towards government policies was generally negative.

You could almost sense that the people were clamouring for change, with opposition parties seizing on almost every contentious issue - from housing shortages and cost of living to public transport and foreign workers - to drum up support.

In short, many people thought the nation was heading in the wrong direction.

GE2011 turned out to be a watershed election that redefined Singapore politics, with the ruling party losing a group representation constituency for the first time.

This was enough to impel the Government to act - and it did almost instantly.

Three years after the election, Singapore has been transformed.

Cash over valuation for flats has plunged from a high of $100,000 to almost zero today; the supply of Build-to-Order flats has made the resale market unattractive; and measures to curb private property speculation have stabilised the market - at least for the short term.

Also, curbs on foreign workers have benefited Singaporean workers across all sectors of industry.

Transportation issues are manageable now, with more buses added and more MRT lines open.

And with more childcare centres, working parents are able to have peace of mind.

It feels as if we have got our country back. This is truly an amazing feeling, and is testimony to our effective government. Our leaders have listened and were not afraid to reverse policies when necessary.

If we look around the region, we will find that there is no government, past or present, able to turn things around so quickly and effectively.

Ours did, and whatever differences in opinion we may harbour or however we perceive the Government, we should be grateful that our voices were heard and our nation is back on the right track.

Letter from Douglas Chua

This article was published on April 17 in The Straits Times.

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