According to reports, a student from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Kaushik Ilango has created an online petition on Change.org, calling on Singaporeans and PRs to support an opt-out option from receiving the NDP2020 “funpack”.
Among the many reasons raised by IIango, the chief concern seems to be that of waste as our country gears up to face the post corona virus economic challenges. Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC), Louis Ng Kok Kwang also appears to support this “opt out” option in relation to the “funpacks” as can be seen on a post on his Facebook (FB) page. In addition, Ng also said that the “funpacks” would be “greener” this year, a tacit acknowledgement that our previous “funpacks” may not have been environmentally sustainable.
Given the unprecedented circumstances this year, perhaps it should be an “opt in” to receive the “funpack” rather than an “opt out” not to receive it? In this way, we can ensure that those who receive the “funpacks” are those that have taken the effort to “opt in” and genuinely want it as opposed to those who just either through laziness or otherwise, couldn’t be bothered to “opt out”.
The reality of “opt out” options for free gifts is that most people will not bother to go through the trouble of “opting out” even if it matters not one way or other whether or not they get it. After all, isn’t that human nature? So, if we really wanted to limit waste, an “opt in” measure makes much more sense than an “opt out”.
Many senior members of the government are already warning us of tough times ahead as the world (and Singapore along with it) grapples with the economic fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is even talking about drawing on the reserves a fourth time to help our country cope with the economic effects.
Instead of “funpacks”, could there perhaps be a better use of our resources?
The “funpack” is of course something that is “good to have” – but it is not essential. Far from it. So, if we still want to go ahead with it as a means to commemorate our nation’s birthday, would it not make better sense for those who really want it (and who will actually use it) to “opt in”?
That way, the organising committee can have a more accurate gauge of genuine numbers and there will be less waste.