I am one of your humble citizens living on this beautiful island I called home. I am happily married to the man of my dreams and we have two boys – a 3yo and a 2yo. We reside in one of the finest public housing in the world, and I count my lucky stars to have obtained my flat before the prices skyrocketed through the roof. Hubby and I have also benefited much from the education system. Both of us received sponsorship for our studies and we have dutifully served our bonds in our chosen profession for the last ten years.
Recently, our family is facing a minor crisis. You see Sir, to help ease the burden on the childcare facilities in Singapore, my mother -in-law has graciously offered to take care of my children since my eldest son was born. She, who went through the Mao Zedong era in China, is a tough woman who can withstand any form of hardship. She courageously left behind her country to help her children with theirs. She is already an old woman in her 70s, stricken with many chronic illnesses. She should be enjoying her golden years, which she told me she enjoys a lifelong pension for herself and my late father-in-law. However, her sense of duty towards her children and grandchildren made her uproot herself and come to Singapore. Of course, I still have my parents. Mum and Dad are in their 50s. They are still young as compared to my Mum-in-law but my parents have to support my younger brother’s tertiary education. So, both of them are currently working and unable to look after my children. Perhaps, they should have heeded the policy and stopped at two back then. Anyhow, we finally resorted to employing a maid to help out with my mum-in-law when my second son came along.
My initial family of two rapidly expanded to a total of six family members in a short span of three years. Herein lies my problem. I have always accepted our public transportation system as my main mode of commuting. With two young kids in tow, we have always felt capable to manage them on a bus or a train, although it can be quite a challenge during the peak hours. Sometimes, we hopped into a taxi. However, if I were to go out with all six family members, some taxi drivers will refuse to fetch us all because we would have exceeded the maximum allowable sitting capacity of the taxi. I am hoping to help boost the national birth rate by having a third child. By then,taxi drivers will lose me as a potential customer. So, the next option will be to buy a car. With the soaring COE prices, this option seems bleak. Despite having a comfortable salary, having a car now will mean lesser savings for my children’s education. Sure, I do not have to be kiasu and enrol my child in all sorts of enrichment programs which is seriously a money making industry. I am all for enrolling in PCF. But I lost a place for my boy next year partly because I was late in enrolling. Places were very limited anyway with some parents enrolling their children in two preschools – PCF to enjoy the rigorous curriculum to prepare for primary one and another private preschool to give their children the extra edge, the soft skills that are lacking in our national education.
We have a suggestion. Can you look into awarding COE according to the family’s needs and pricing them in a more reasonable way? Why let young punks with too much money to spare to buy million dollar toys and pose a hazard on our roads? We promise we will be responsible drivers. Besides I don’t want to risk the lives of my loved ones in my hands. I only seek to own a car in my children’s early years when travelling with them is still quite a chore. We sincerely hope you can consider our bold suggestion.
Looking forward to hear from you.
Your humble citizen