SINGAPORE: For Singapore’s continued success, the stability of the country must be taken “seriously” amid changes and challenges in the global environment, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (Feb 9).
Speaking at a Chinese New Year dinner event at SAFRA Mount Faber, Mr Chan said: “First, we must treasure and take our stability seriously. Our stability has been instrumental to our success as a country and a key competitive advantage in a world in flux.”
While society’s aspirations are changing along with the world, he called for people to remain “united and cohesive”.
“As we prepare for the leadership transition in the coming years, we will need to send a positive signal to the world about our stability, our cohesion and our progressiveness so that we can continue to inspire confidence in all investors to want to invest in Singapore and create good jobs for our people,” he said.
Mr Chan also stressed the need for “strong and committed leaders who have the guts to make bold decisions” for the country’s long term future.
Reiterating a point made by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in a recent commentary where he rejected the suggestion that the Government has “gone slack”, Mr Chan said:
“When we encounter challenges and problems, we will double down and put things right. Never shirking from our responsibilities to each other and to our country. As a people and Government, we must never be complacent to let our system slacken or become mediocre.”
Mr Chan also highlighted the need to ensure everyone progresses together.
During his speech, the Mr Chan addressed some of the global challenges Singapore has to contend with.
Citing the trade tensions between the US and China and bilateral tensions between Singapore and Malaysia, the minister said there’s a need to understand the reasons behind the developments.
“Some people have been quick to attribute all that has happened to certain personalities or certain leaders. This in my view is too simplistic a view. We cannot have such a narrow understanding of the world around us.
"We would have to be cognisant of the wider and deeper societal forces in the different countries that are in turn, driving these personalities and their actions,” said Mr Chan.
In outlining the approach Singapore needs to take to manage the issues, he highlighted the importance of seeking “constructive ties with all on the basis of mutual benefits and mutual respect,” and “not take sides or be a proxy for others”.
He added that Singapore also needs to remain calm and adopt a consistent, long-term approach.