Singapore’s Next Fifty Years: The Flourishing Society
The first fifty years of Singapore’s independence was devoted to the Government’s survivalist project of transforming the people into workers and obedient subjects. This, it was and is still argued, demanded universal, uniform economy-oriented education and the propagation of personal and societal values that were seen as necessary for growth. In this scheme, knowledge and values were perceived instrumentally.
The system has raised successive generations of two-dimensional people, trapped in a narrow mental and psychological world where their full potential as both human beings and citizens was unrealized.
In the next half-century, a new conception of the meaning and purpose of life that goes beyond the convenient catch-phrase of “happiness” is needed. Central to this is the idea of leading a self-cultivating, de-atomised and hence flourishing existence. To bring it about, fundamental changes to education and society will be required.
This book is divided into five parts: the philosophical idea of a fully-realized life as lived by individuals and citizens of a nation and of the world; the status quo and the historical developments that led to it; how Singaporeans “are”; the case for interventions by the state in what are ostensibly private choices of people; and a programme of change to bring about a flourishing society of actualized citizens.
The contents will be based on a wide range of sources: surveys, interviews, ministerial speeches, policy papers, academic works, school textbooks and media articles.