President Tony Tan Keng Yam has pledged to work with all Singaporeans to address their concerns and aspirations, and build a better future, in his speech at the re-opening of Parliament after its traditional mid-term break.
He also laid out six broad goals for the Singapore government: strengthening safety nets, enhancing retirement adequacy, supporting families and communities, creating a better quality life for Singaporeans and opportunities for adults to have a fulfilling career, and enabling young Singaporeans to fulfil their potential.
Dr Tan said the government will pursue new strategies to achieve these goals, and the approach will be different as the environment has changed.
He said the government has heard from citizens who participated in the year-long “Our Singapore Conversation” sessions.
“We will give substance to these voices, and set out a new way forward for ourselves and our nation,” said Dr Tan.
Pointing to Singapore’s increasingly diverse society, Dr Tan also called on citizens to keep Singapore a place where people of different races, religions and background can live harmoniously together.
He added that even where views diverge, it should not pull society apart.
Dr Tan added: “At 50, we are still a young nation, with great promise ahead. Just as our pioneers overcame formidable obstacles with grit and determination to build today’s Singapore, we too must create our Singapore of tomorrow.
“Our work continues — to build a fair and just society, regardless of race, language or religion; to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation. These are the founding ideals in our pledge which we must always uphold.”
Dr Tan also paid tribute to the pioneer generation of Singaporeans who fought for the country’s independence and toiled for success.
He said the Pioneer Generation Package is a “sincere expression of appreciation for their sacrifices and contributions”.
As Singapore ushers in its 50th birthday next year, Dr Tan said the Golden Jubilee will be an occasion for citizens to re-dedicate themselves to building a better country.
He called on Singaporeans to uphold the same spirit as the country’s pioneers.
He added: “Our best years lie ahead. We have not overcome all our challenges, but we are determined to do so, and we will.
“Singapore remains a home that brings out the best in us. By recognizing our collective destiny, by finding fulfilment in building our home and nation, we can continue to progress and prosper.
“As we approach our 50th anniversary of independence, let us pledge ourselves anew to build a better, brighter Singapore.”