Thursday, July 29, 2010

There Should Be No Retirement Age !


Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew with his brilliant and inspiring speech

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By Channel NewsAsia, Updated: 28/07/2010

There should be no retirement age: MM Lee

"SINGAPORE: Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said that there should be no retirement age for workers.

He made the point at a dialogue session with over 900 senior managers, government officials and unionists on Wednesday.

The session was held in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).

Minister Mentor Lee got the audience in stitches when he made the bold suggestion — no retirement age for Singapore.

He said: "You work as long as you can work and you will be healthier and happier for it. If you ask me to stop working all of a sudden, I think I’ll just shrivel up, face the wall and just that."

The 86—year—old said old people should be more productive.

Mr Lee was responding to a question on challenges Singapore may face with an aging population.

He said that at his age, he may have aches and pains but he can keep going.

He said: "Many of our workers have a preferred retirement, and then they die early! It won’t be long before the message sinks home that if you keep doing what you’re doing for almost the whole of your life, the chances are you will stay interested and engaged in life, there’s something to do tomorrow and you keep going. If you start saying,’oh! I’m old!’ And you start reading novels and playing golf or playing chess, well, you’re on the way down."

From 2012, employers in Singapore will have to offer workers re—employment when they hit the retirement age of 62.

Mr Lee said older workers will need to come to terms with the psychological switch — that is, working for less pay and very likely for a younger boss.

He said: "That’s life! You know American Generals — they don’t do well, they get fired and they give them a medal, they send a new general! I think we have to develop that approach to life. (When) you have reached the maximum you can do at your age in that position, you move sideways and you take less pay and you move gradually, (getting) less and less pay because you are moving slower and slower, especially when you’re doing physical work."

Mr Lee stressed the need to continue learning even as one gets older, adding "I’m still learning."

Attracting talents was another hot topic at the dialogue session. Mr Lee said foreign talents come to Singapore because of the opportunities it offers.

Their numbers will add to what Mr Lee called a growing "intellectual class".

Mr Lee said: "We are going to have an intellectual class, about maybe three times as big as what you have now and that will give us the dynamism, the powerful engine to carry us forward faster."

Mr Lee added that Singapore’s attraction as a liveable, safe city with good infrastructure will support its push to enhance productivity.

The 45—minute dialogue was engaging and peppered with personal anecdotes. For example, Mr Lee shared how many of his ideas were gleaned from his travels.

He noted how a lot of policies in Singapore were the result of his experiences overseas. For example, deciding on having an underground train system over a network of tunnels for buses."

Yahoo! I love the above article! MM Lee has said it, and because he has said it,
I am extremely sure that people will endorse it. MM Lee is a classic example of what he preaches, and people who have pondered will want to emulate him.

When my niece and nephew-in-law were recently visiting Singapore, I shared with them about my being invited to teach English to a group of Army Personnel from a neighbouring country. It only takes up three hours in the morning three times a week, and will not interfere with my real estate work, for I have done this a number of times in the past. For me, when I get busier, somehow I become even more productive!

Recently my best friend Soh Wah gave me a newspaper advertisement that she had cut out from the Straits Times and encouraged me to participate. Soh Wah thought I could be a good travel writer as I have travelled extensively and have written a number of articles on my various visits to different countries. Not a bad idea, as this would be only on ad hoc basis.

I was quite touched when I met an ex-customer who used to patronise the restaurant, Rialto, which I was operating. "My family and I miss your food, Choo!" She asked if I could be the chef and cook make some pasta dishes, Caesar Salad, Bruschetta, Panacotta and Tiramisu for her party of 60 guests in her home."

MM Lee is also right when he said that we should never stop learning. I have been "playing the drum", by using some bowls, pots and chopsticks. Once I start to play Grade 5 pieces with my violin, I will enrol in a school for drums. I have always loved the violin and drums since I was young.

Due to my love for dogs, I occasionally dog-sit for owners who travel overseas for a few weeks. It is so wonderful to look after my favourite animals - dogs - and it also "forces" me to exercise when I walk the dogs. Above all, it is so nice to be paid for what I enjoy doing!

Yes, I am undergoing physiotherapy for aches in my backbones, but the aches and pain
will not deter me from learning new things and keeping active until I go six feet under. Work is never work when we enjoy what we are doing. There are still so many things to learn and to discover.!

I love it as our MM Lee is such a positive person. We must always look at the bright side of things. Remember old is gold. I always love to learn from people older than me. I will be going with my eldest sister to Phuket for a little retreat and for 3 days, I will just switch off my handphone and listen to her sharing and expounding of the Bible. She is an excellent Bible teacher, and I am always mesmerised by her sharing.

Just to end my article on a lighter note and to share something I came across in the internet. A little reminder to youths:

"REMEMBER to be kind to old folks, for they are worth a fortune. They have silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet and gas in their stomachs." Wow!

Gan Cao

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