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Be mindful of social impact as more super rich move to S’pore

I refer to the reports “Singapore to see largest influx of super rich” (March 5) and “Siting flats further from city ‘may widen S’pore’s social divide’” (Feb 28).

I refer to the reports “Singapore to see largest influx of super rich” (March 5) and “Siting flats further from city ‘may widen S’pore’s social divide’” (Feb 28).

I agree with letter writer Teo Kueh Liang (“Causes of social divides complex”; March 6) and Member of Parliament (Tampines GRC) Irene Ng that we should be careful not to let Singapore become a “luxury” or “generic” city where local culture becomes overwhelmed.

Having the super rich living among average or poor Singaporeans will probably provoke envy or jealousy. Some may even start to compare their lives with those of the super rich and attempt to live beyond their means, especially with so many luxury shops opening in Singapore. The ownership of luxury goods may end up being perceived as a “norm” by some.

This could give rise to heavy credit card debt, where debtors can afford to pay off only the monthly credit card interest and not the principal sum. It will only get worse as they keep accumulating more luxury goods, to the extent that they get trapped in serious financial debt.

We must be mindful of widening income disparity, especially when the growing cost of living has slowed real income growth for some Singaporeans in recent years.

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