Singapore's Prime Minister Rallies Singaporeans to the New Year 2011
In the recent New Year's message to Singapore, Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong pointed out that the situation of the world economy is mixed, with US and Europe struggling while Asian markets looking strong. As India and China continue to impress, Southeast Asian countries are also continuing to grow steadily.
However, he highlighted that Singaporeans must note that despite the 14.7 per cent growth in the country's economy last year, it was the result of special circumstances that is unlikely to repeat again.
PM Lee assured Singaporeans that the government would continue its efforts to aid the poor with Public Assistance, eg. ComCare and Workfare, and also to implemented Additional Housing Grants for buying of HDB flats. However, the PM believes that government’s efforts to Singaporeans should not be invested solely in the financial scheme of things, but more in upgrading of the Singapore worker. Upgrading of skills will benefit productivity and it will set us apart from our Asian counterparts who are willing to work longer hours for a lower pay cheque. He also stressed that Singapore's heavy investment in education has paid off, with results from the 2009 PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) placing Singaporean students amongst the top five reading, mathematics and science. He went on to point out that our success as a nation goes beyond education and lies with the spirit of Singaporeans and the quality of leadership present.
PM Lee explained that leaders who deliver good policies, create opportunities for the people, and rally citizens to work together for a better tomorrow are vital in ensuring a successful Singapore. He highlighted the example of the recent Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which Singapore hosted. He believed that as a country we displayed the spirit that led to the Youth Olympic Games suxccess, and that we have to continue to display this uniquely Singaporean spirit that makes our country tick. He further stressed that Singaporeans will have to embrace this spirit of daring to try new things; coupled with high quality education, an alert and dynamic leadership, that will lead Singapore to a better tomorrow.