PM Lee says important to stay on top of 'bread and butter issues' but 'intangible ethos' of a society more vital in long run
SINGAPORE: While there is a need to stay on top of “bread and butter issues”, the “intangible ethos” of a society is even more vital in the long run, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his New Year message on Tuesday (Dec 31).
In the message, Mr Lee revealed that the upcoming Budget will include plans to improve the lives of Singaporeans, such as helping households with the cost of living and supporting businesses to raise productivity and build new capabilities.
READ: Upcoming Budget to include 'practical measures to improve the lives of Singaporeans', says PM Lee
These are all practical measures to improve the lives of Singaporeans, he said.
“But one lesson from history is that while we must stay on top of bread and butter issues, in the long run the intangible ethos of a society is even more vital.”
Elaborating on these ideals, Mr Lee said Singapore aims “to build a fair and just society, where growth and prosperity benefits everyone, and the human spirit can flourish”.
It is a society where pathways of progress are open to all to chase their dreams and everyone is equal, regardless of race, language or religion, he said.
“We will uplift the most vulnerable amongst us and leave nobody behind whatever the vicissitudes of life.
“Here, each generation never stops thinking of tomorrow, so that our children can look forward to exciting opportunities, and in their turn build a better Singapore.”
Such values and qualities are what “impelled” the forefathers of Singaporeans to remain rather than leave, gave Singaporeans the grit to survive the Japanese Occupation, the courage to fight for independence and the will to build a nation, said Mr Lee.
“These same values will enable us to remain 'one united people' and to prevail despite the odds,” he added.
“In a troubled world, few societies can devote themselves to such intangible ideals, much less act upon them. But here in Singapore, thanks to the heroic efforts of several generations, we can all realistically aspire to live by these values, and turn our vision into reality.”