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Govt to use new technologies to improve lives: Tony Tan

New technologies will be used to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to improve lives, President Tony Tan said on Friday.

SINGAPORE: New technologies will be used to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to improve lives.

President Tony Tan said this on Friday in his address outlining the government's new agenda for the second half of its term.

One of the government's goals is to create conditions for Singaporeans to enjoy a better quality of life, with improved transport options, more recreational spaces and rejuvenated neighbourhoods.

The government will leverage technology to make Singapore a "Smart Nation", said Dr Tan.

There will be more transport options, better care for the elderly at home, more responsive public services and more opportunities for citizen engagement.

But a good home, Dr Tan said, reflects "the best of its people".

He said Singapore must remain a place where people of different races, religions and backgrounds live and work together.

Dr Tan said: "We also have new immigrants and foreigners amongst us, who contribute to our society and economy.

"Let us treat them with graciousness, kindness and fellowship, even as we expect them to respect our values and our Singaporean way of life. This spirit will enable us to progress and prosper together." 

The president also said upgrading of HDB estates will continue, and they will be connected to a more extensive and convenient transport network.

In addition, there will be better care for the elderly at home, more responsive public services, and more opportunities for citizen engagement.

But to realise these goals, Dr Tan said Singapore needs what he called "constructive politics" that puts nation and people first.

He said vigorous debate on the challenges ahead must continue, and the country has to be prepared to take necessary and bold decisions.

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

Singapore has made major changes to its economic and social policies in recent years.

"But amidst these changes, some things remain constant: Singapore will always be a small country, constantly navigating dangers and threats in an uncertain world," Dr Tan said.

This is where strong armed forces and the Home Team come in, and Dr Tan paid tribute to the country's national servicemen.

"Our NSmen have the spirit and resolve to defend our nation, and provide us with that sense of security to pursue our dreams," he said.

The president said the Committee to Strengthen National Service will be coming up with ways to give NSmen the support and recognition they deserve. 

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