Tag Archives: Straits Times 21 April 2014


Yet, even as the state embraces more socially equitable policies, citizens cannot afford to forget that the world remains an inegalitarian and dangerous place. The latest phase of globalisation, in which the economic centre of gravity is moving towards Asia, is promising for Singapore, but only if it remains competitive. China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia are among countries gifted with both large populations and abundant natural resources; city-state Singapore can depend only on the resourcefulness of its people. Nor can it assume that geopolitical realities will remain in its favour indefinitely. Russia's annexation of Crimea taught Ukraine a sharp lesson in the disparities of power. Similarly, Singapore cannot rely on the goodwill of others.

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Traditional businesses facing tough times

Take Mr Alan Wong, who worries about the future of his antique and vintage goods trading and restoration shop, Yasashii Trading, should any of his workers retire. "We face a lack of manpower because many Singaporeans do not have the skills needed to do restoration work," he said. The shop in Bukit Merah has three employees, all in their 60s and 70s. "Without them, I might have to stop the restoration part of my business and focus solely on trading antiques in the long term," added Mr Wong, 49.

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