While speaking at a ministerial forum with students from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) on Wednesday evening (4 September), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong answered several questions from the audience, video of which were uploaded into a playlist on the Prime Minister’s Office Youtube Channel.
When asked about Singapore’s progress in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, PM Lee said Singapore is already achieving more than other countries including in areas of education, healthcare and the environment.
He stressed, “What we need to do more urgently is invest in our people so that they are ready for tomorrow. And we also must be able to adapt, to get our people to adapt to climate change. Not because it is a problem 100 years from now but because it is a problem which is going to be growing over the next 100 years and more and you have to start doing that now.”
The PM noted how he brought up the issue of climate change in his National Day Rally speech.
“I brought the subject up, I decided to take some time at the Rally talking about it and putting it in a simple way for Singaporeans so that it will come into your consciousness. What you actually do, there’s a lot of things to follow. But first of all, people must understand that this is important.”
He then elaborated that the responses he got from young people were that they were glad he addressed the issue and asked him to do more. On the other hand, he said there were also people who asked why he talked about spending S$100 billion over 100 years on the environment when there are people in need of that money right now.
He explained, “But if I just look after now and I don’t pay attention to 50 and 100 years from now, I think you’re going to have a big problem before 50 and 100 years comes. And we have to do both and we have to keep the balance. “