What’s more sian is when international headlines show the rich in Singapore spending money while local papers show how the poor and middle people cannot make it.
Exhibit A: Singapore, playground for the rich
Exhibit B: Singapore, home to a struggling underclass
Part of the problem is the fact that headlines focus on the extravagant – some would even say “obscene” – lifestyles of the rich, without putting their fortune or their choices into context.
Yes, we have super rich people in Singapore – towkays, successful bankers, and other multi-millionaires.
Yes, these super rich people can give you job and can take away your job, directly impacting people’s lives.
But not all people who live comfortably fall into the category of the “super rich”!
Many lawyers, doctors, architects, or accountants – the liberal professions – live very financially secure lives, yet they don’t directly determine other people’s living conditions by the way they spend or manage their capital.
They affect people’s lives through the way they perform their duties!
A good lawyer can be the difference between bankruptcy and profits, a good doctor can be the difference between life and death, a good architect can be the difference between viable housing and unliveable dwelling, etc.
Similarly, the well-off in these professions can have a positive impact on Singapore’s rising inequalities. How?
By leading innovation in their respective fields!
This category of individuals is in the unique position to foster creativity and innovation in fields that aren’t traditionally associated with out-of-the-box thinking.
Think about it: how did Singapore become famous for Marina Bay Sands or a unique residence like the Pool Shophouse? At least Singapore is known for something other than its ban on chewing-gum right?
Even better, the designs need manpower to build it, meaning both skilled and unskilled employment will increase.
Law firms a bit different, but they can decide to run their business in a new and exemplary manner.
By being involved in Singapore community projects or in regional humanitarian missions, law firms can not only expand Singapore’s image as more than just a money-focused society, it can instil real CSR values into its employees.
That’s why it’s no surprise that social entrepreneurship – or the creation of socially conscious and responsible businesses – is a growing trend in Singapore!
People want things done in a sustainable and community-friendly way.
Hopefully the combination of such innovative business models combined with the government’s policies to stimulate employment and skill-building will help reduce the gloomy social divide that’s worrying many Singaporeans.