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Constructive politics crucial for Singapore: Tony Tan

President Tony Tan Keng Yam said it is crucial to maintain constructive politics in Singapore, that puts the nation and people first.

SINGAPORE: President Tony Tan Keng Yam said it is crucial to maintain constructive politics in Singapore, that puts the nation and people first.

Vigorous debates on the challenges the country faces must continue, and Singapore has to be prepared to take necessary and bold decisions for its future, he said in his address on Friday evening as Parliament re-opened after its traditional mid-term break.

"Sometimes these debates will stir great passions, but we cannot allow our differences to pull us apart," said Dr Tan. "So while we may have differing views, all sides must take a long-term perspective for the common good."

He said the government has also moved to address urgent needs in housing and transport in recent years, and slowed the inflow of foreign workers while maintaining jobs for Singaporeans -- these plans reflect the country's determination to adapt, improve and upgrade, he said.

But amidst those changes, Dr Tan added, Singapore will always be a small country constantly navigating dangers and threats in an uncertain world.

This is why the country needs effective diplomacy, and a strong Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team.

Dr Tan said NSmen have the spirit and resolve to defend the nation, and deserve Singaporeans' support and recognition.

He said the Committee to Strengthen National Service will propose ways to do that.  

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