Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin has called on Singaporeans from all walks of life to help build a Singapore they can be proud of.
"No one writes our stories but ourselves. We also choose the lenses through which we view our world and our lives," said the Minister, who is also Senior Minister of State for National Development.
"No society is perfect, including ours. However, I see a lot of heart and soul in our people. In all of you here," he said in a National Day Observance speech to fellow colleagues, friends and family at the MOM Services Centre on Monday afternoon.
"We shouldn't short-change ourselves. I know many are not happy with things as they are, but many step forward to do something about it and not just run things down," he added.
The Minister was referencing two recent letters by readers that were sent in and published on Yahoo! Singapore.
One was about a brother advising his Singapore-born sister living abroad not to come home to "soulless Singapore". This letter was shared on Facebook nearly 4,000 times.
Another was about a gay reader who chose to migrate to Canada because of her "respect for human dignity".
"There isn't a right or wrong story. But we do have many varied ones. I have also met many fellow Singaporeans who care for others and who are anything but soulless," said Minister Tan.
"I wish these two fellow Singaporeans, and others who feel likewise, well and that they may find happiness wherever they may be. I do hope they can help build a Singapore they can be proud of."
In his speech, Minister Tan also said unemployment rates in Singapore stood at 3%, relatively low compared to most countries.
Looking ahead, he planned to continue paying special attention to low-wage workers through continuous training and better legislative protection.
Women and older workers would also not be neglected and would be encouraged to return to work through progressive employment practices.