By Howard Lee
Prime Minister warned of uncertain days ahead for Singaporeans, even as he indicated that the government is doing all it can to improve social safety nets, invest in education and strengthen social bonds in his National Day message broadcast last evening.
The video showed PM Lee speaking to camera at Alexandra Park Connector near Dawson, as he paid tribute to the pioneer generation who have brought Singapore to where it is today.
He mentioned that the Pioneer Generation Package was the nation’s way of saying thank you to the pioneers.
He did not mention the recently launched Honour Singapore non-profit organisation, which aims to “promote a culture of honour and honouring across the nation”.
However, he also sounded out challenges ahead. “The globalised world offers many opportunities for the bold and enterprising,” he said. “But it also makes people uncertain and anxious about their future. Events overseas affect us quickly and unpredictably.” He cited conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza and the South China Sea as some of these events.
“Our interests and opinions are more diverse and deeply held. We are now at a higher level, from which we can scale new heights. Hence we must reassess our position, review our direction, and refresh our strategies.”
PM Lee cited the government’s efforts in improving the healthcare system and retirement fund scheme, promising to speak more about the Central Provident Fund at the National Day Rally next weekend.
Nevertheless, a report published on Thursday by the Ministry of Finance, titled the Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR), indicated a need or the government to improve on aspects like healthcare and public transport.
In his speech, the PM also mentioned efforts made by the government to encourage Singapore students to upgrade and stay relevant for the workplace.
“Education is a big part of the answer. That is why I set up the ASPIRE Committee, chaired by SMS Indranee Rajah, to help ITE and poly graduates advance in life.”
PM Lee also called on Singaporeans to stand united and offer each other mutual support to ensure that the nation succeeds together.
“Beyond our physical infrastructure, we must strengthen our bonds with one another and the spirit of mutual support. We must deepen our shared identity, and the values we hold dear. Singapore will only succeed if we stand together as one united people.”
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