Channel NewsAsia

Cultural change needed in the way Singaporeans view success: PM Lee

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will lead a high-level tripartite committee to develop an integrated system of education, training and career progression for all Singaporeans.

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called for a cultural change in the way Singaporeans view success and value each other. He emphasised that Singaporeans should look for ways to succeed regardless of their paper qualifications and that employers should value their staff and develop them to take on higher responsibilities.

Mr Lee announced at his National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 17) that a high-level tripartite committee will be set up to this drive effort and coordinate support from various sectors. This will involve the Government, employers and the unions. The committee will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Mr Lee elaborated on how the Government plans to give Singaporeans full opportunities to achieve their potential - by getting good jobs, mastering deep skills, performing well and gaining relevant qualifications. He highlighted several examples of workers who have risen up the career ladder, despite not having a degree, and companies which support such individuals. 

A committee chaired by Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah is looking at how to create this work and study path, and it will announce its recommendations soon. Mr Lee said this shift in the way success is viewed is fundamentally about how the nation values people.

Singapore, he said must be a place where everyone can feel proud of what they do, and be respected for their contributions and character.