Today, 12 August 2014, marks the 10th year that Lee Hsien Loong has been Prime Minister of Singapore. This year is also his 30th year in politics, having been introduced as a candidate for the People’s Action Party in 1984’s general election.
We look back on the swearing-in speech Mr Lee delivered at the Istana 10 years ago today.
Do you think Mr Lee has accomplished what he set out in his speech? And what do you think are the most significant achievements or failures during his 10-year tenure as PM of Singapore?
You can read his speech in full here.
Here are some excerpts:
“We want to build a vibrant and competitive economy. That is the way to create good jobs, and improve the lives of all our citizens. Without the resources that come from growth, we cannot achieve much. But prosperity is not our only goal, nor is economic growth an end in itself.”
“We will continue to expand the space which Singaporeans have to live, to laugh, to grow and to be ourselves. Our people should feel free to express diverse views, pursue unconventional ideas, or simply be different. We should have the confidence to engage in robust debate, so as to understand our problems, conceive fresh solutions, and open up new spaces. We should recognise many paths of success, and many ways to be Singaporean. We must give people a second chance, for those who have tasted failure may be the wiser and stronger ones among us. Ours must be an open and inclusive Singapore.”
Even as we pursue individual ambitions, we must also deepen our sense of common purpose and identity. We can stand tall only if we stand together. Our years in school and national service, our shared joys and sorrows, our attachment to familiar places, our bonds with family and friends – all these reinforce our sense of being one Singapore family. Already, a Singaporean is readily recognisable anywhere in the world. We must continue to widen our common ground, and care for one another. Our unity gives us the resilience to weather every storm and thrive as an independent nation.”