It's the last Monday of 2003! A
brand new year will arrive this Thursday and I am quite sure many of you
people here in Singapore will agree with me that you don't wish for 2003 to
stay a second longer.
The SARS epidemic took us totally
by surprise. It also affected our economy badly. In its wake, it left
disrupted lifestyles, knocked the wind out of our shopping paradise, and put
paid our dreams of a better second-half 2003.
Many of us found ourselves
struggling to pay the bills. And things got from bad to worse as the months
dragged on. We were behind in our instalments for hire purchase or housing
loans. We learnt to dread phone calls from banks and finance companies. It's
not that we were bad paymasters. It's just that this year money was harder to
We had to scrimp - not because we
wanted to save the balance of what we earned, mind you - but rather because we
had trouble making ends meet. Government agencies, such as the HDB and RCB,
worked quickly to help us lower our burden by either stretching our mortgage
instalments or reducing their fees.
In short, 2003 has been a bad year
for most of us. That's why we can't seem to wait for it to end. I, for one, am
glad 2003 has only three days left in its run.
It's also time to make resolutions
for 2004. Have you made yours yet? I still haven't. I have worn myself out
trying to live through the second half of 2003 so I have no time to think
about resolutions. Maybe, next week.