Singaporeans are legendary worriers. Their current concern is prosperity, reports Sid Astbury.
Pity Singapore, where gloom and doom scenarios abound. A quarter century of stability is threatened, as voters defy new leader Goh Chok Tong and in a snap election pick four opposition MPs to face 77 on the government benches. Workers fear for their jobs, as the numbers of unemployed balloon to nearly 2% of the labour force. The integrity of Treasury officials is questioned, as foreign exchange reserves fall to less than US$60 billion. Inflation races out of control to 4%.
Yes, Singaporeans are now fretting that the rising standard of living is bringing growing pains. Explains Goh, "Ours are the problems of affluence - obesity, controlling the number of cars, and meeting the aspirations of a population accustomed to rapid progress and high standards."