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General Paper Essay Outline : Examine the claim that people in your society are too dependent on their government ? (TPJC Prelim 2015)

warning handle with care

Note : This is  not meant to be the only, or best, answer to the question.

Interpret Terms, where necessary :
too dependent : over-reliant, to the point of not being able to act independently

Points to show that people are too dependent :
– The govt provides for the people well (housing, healthcare, education) >> people become complacent even to the point of not being adept at creating opportunities for themselves, which in turn has an impact on the entrepreneurial spirit in Singapore
– History of tight regulation & outcome of education >> people seek approval / permission before doing something, and assume that the govt has regulations in place for them to follow >> few become go-getters who actually do; many ask, “Can this be done?”
– The govt is arguably the best-endowed entity, most resources and most personnel to execute projects >> there is an expectation that the govt should and can do the job, or handle the situation.
– The culture of complaining attributed to a number of things including the rights of citizens to make demands of their democratically-elected leaders, and the high pay of cabinet ministers.

However, the observations above cannot be use to over-generalise the people of Singapore.
– Ground-up initiatives >> growing in number >> young entrepreneurs, community projects etc.
– There is also a desire to look for solutions (such as cooperation and self-regulation) that avoid resorting to the heavy hand of the law, especially on issues pertaining free speech.
– The meritocratic system ensures that while the govt can try to create opportunities, people have to be self-reliant and work to get the best out of these opportunities.


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