Singapore’s policies not set in stone: MM Lee
Lee Kuan Yew opines on why Singapore needs strong government with hand-picked leaders like himself. Channel News Asia, with video:
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said Singapore’s policies are not set in stone.
He said the ability to improve on what has been done and basic values like meritocracy have led to Singapore’s success.
Addressing his constituents at the Tanjong Pagar National Day dinner on Sunday evening, Mr Lee also spoke of the crucial need for succession. …
“We defied the odds and got to where we are. However, we must never forget our hard and harsh beginnings. If our national solidarity is splintered by communal hostility, and our social cohesion is weakened, we will regress. Then we will have a weak economy that cannot afford a strong SAF. That will again make us vulnerable.”
Mr Lee said the resources the SAF needs to mount such a superb performance require a strong and vibrant economy.
And to build such a Singapore, the nation needs an exceptionally strong government with the ablest, the toughest and the most dedicated leaders.
Mr Lee said: “We headhunt for them, test them out in heavy responsibilities. Only such leaders can keep the economy growing and create good jobs and generate the revenue to pay for the equipment and training of our 3-G SAF.
“This 3-G SAF provides the security and confidence of our people and of foreign investors, assured that we can more than defend ourselves. If there is insecurity, there will be fewer investments. That means a poorer people and instability.”
Mr Lee added that Singapore’s basic values – of ensuring leaders of high integrity; meritocracy; a level playing field for all citizens; and English as the working language – have laid the foundation of Singapore’s success.
He said: “People get to where they are on merit – not nepotism, not corruption. Hence, all are capable and competent. No policy is skewed as a result of personal benefit or profits. We have been rated as the cleanest government in Asia, and amongst the first three cleanest in the world.
“Third, we have a level playing field for all citizens. No one is disadvantaged by our national policies whatever their race, language or religion.
“Fourth, English is our working language. We did not choose Chinese, the language of the majority. English gives everyone an equal chance to master the language. It is a language of the world of trade and individuals, the Internet and new knowledge. It has made us the hub we now are for businesses, industries, banking and financial services, and communications.”
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Tags: english, integrity, leadership, lee kuan yew, meritocracy, national day, saf, strong government, succession