Photo from Lee Hsien Loong's Fanpage

Is Singapore ready to be more forgiving to youthful mistakes?

In conjunction with Youth Day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted a jump-shot picture on his Facebook post along with the statement: “Your dreams today can become your passions tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s the beauty of being young. You can experiment, try things out, and discover what you can be. The future often looks daunting, but go forth and create your own!”

The picture shows PM Lee along with his wife, Ho Ching and prominent Singaporean politicians; Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Transport) Josephine Teo and Minister of State (National Development and Trade and Industry) Koh Poh Koon who were in Moscow for a work trip in May.

The post was met with a slew of enthusiastic comments from other Facebook users, some of them posting up their very own jump-shot.

Some others reacted to the post with skepticism, highlighting the rigorous and sometimes ruthless education system that youths face and the very demanding work expectations faced by young working adults.

Students in Singapore still face a number of national examinations that can make or break their future. A student who does badly in a national examination, even due to unforeseen circumstances such as falling ill, may be unable to pursue his course of choice in the higher education or to enter a better school and thereby diminishing his chances in the future.

Making a mistake then, would not be so forgivable.

Young working adults are also facing tough competition in the meritocratic, cutthroat working world. With underemployment becoming an issue among young workers, employers have an access to a large pool of potential employees and may not be so forgiving to a young employee who makes honest mistakes.