Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Changing Times*

The Chinese, especially the Cantonese, like 2008 because it suggests that it is a year where fortune is easily made (2008 in Cantonese reads yi leng leng fath, meaning 'easy and sure to prosper')

For the rest of us, a new year begins with new hopes and new plans. What will the year bring? On the economic front, much prosperity and growth is predicted for Singapore based on several iconic projects that will see fruition this year - the opening of the Singapore Flyer in March, the F1 race in September, the Olympics in August (oops, that's in Beijing, not Singapore, though Singapore is bidding very hard for the 2010 Youth Olympics). There are the regulars such as the Singapore Airshow in February, Singapore Biennale in September, various Trade Shows and Exhibitions and even the Singapore Budget, which will be announced in March, is soliciting for feedback by the freshly minted Finance Minister, Mr T. Shanmugaratnam.

From the looks of things, time will race us by again and before we know it, 2009 will be upon us. Then we will have the opening of the Integrated Resorts and, hopefully, parts of the Circle Line subway network that, hopefully, will bring a greater choice of moving about Singapore without being tied to the increasingly expensive taxi services and the forever unpredictable bus services. But we are racing ahead of ourselves.

Inflation will be a bug-bear this year too, and as more people look forward to higher pay, they can use the pay rise to pay for the price rise. Unfortunately, not everybody will get a pay rise, so real income will fall, ironically, within a booming Singapore economy. More people will be poorer this year compared to last year.

As in any turn of time, hopes go with uncertainties.

* Bob Dylan - The Times They are a-Changin

Image source: www.freephoto-bank.org

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