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Sunday, August 19, 2007 . 11:32 PM

City of Possibilities- What to Look Foward to?

This year's ND Rally speech is focused on 2 basic needs and problems of our country- that is, an ageing population and redeveloping the living standards of Singaporeans in general. Basically, it strives towards an aim of City of Possibilities.

City of Possibilities aims to push Singapore towards a vibrant and thriving city-state that is recognized on the world stage- Possibicity. In education, in the workforce and most importantly, a home where everyone can look forward to. And this is done through the 2 highlighted policies of the night- readjusting the CPF to suit the aged needs and a overall revamp and upgrading of Singapore's living areas.

Catering to an aging population. Many of the old depend on their CPF to see them through their golden ages. The CPF was started in the 1970s to help Singaporeans save and secure their future by saving a part of their monthly income. However, we have come a long way, lifespan in 1970 was only 61 years, but now, we average at about 81 years. That is a additional 20 years which most CPF savings are unable to cope with. As a result, the policy targets at 2 main changes to solve this problem. Firstly, to raise a person's CPF interest by 1 percentage point, anyone earning 1700 a month, by the time he reaches 55years, would have another 20,000 due to this additional compounded interest, which would expend the government about 700million per year. Another target would be to raise the drawback of CPF to 65years and making all local companies offer the aged jobs and remployment till the age of 65. This would then allow the old to spread up their CPF over a longer time period, as well as allow our population to work longer.

Next, we hope to raise the country's living standard and lifestyle up a notch- comparable to that of Manhattan and Los Angeles. This would not cover just the citycenter, but in the heartlands as well. Thus this has come in the form of 2 new policies. Unveiling the HIP programme, to upgrade flats built in the early 1980s to 1989, this would bring a additional 100 000 flats under upgrading. Secondly, there would also be a new generation of flats being built, bringing Manhattan style living into the heartlands- pilot project Punggol 21 which merges eco-friendliness with a Hip style of living. This, we hope, can create a new style of living in Singaporeans- but more importantly, still retain our brand name as a clean, green city powered by highly efficient and self-motivated individuals. That is- Singapore 21.