Singapore, the best is yet to come


We publish here an excerpt from the inauguration speech of Lawrence Wong, the new prime minister of the city-state

Today marks a significant milestone: a passing of the baton, not only between leadership groups, but also between different generations. I am the first Prime Minister of Singapore to be born after independence. Almost all of my team colleagues were also born after 1965. The story of my generation is the story of independent Singapore. Our lives bear witness to the values that have forged our nation: Incorruptibility, meritocracy, multiracialism, justice and equality. These principles are deeply rooted in all of us. We understand the vital importance of good leadership, political stability and long-term planning. We ourselves are the beneficiaries of the imaginative policies of our founding fathers, pursued with determination and patience for decades. Shaped by these experiences, our leadership style will be different from that of previous generations. We will lead in our own way. We will continue to think boldly and think far ahead. We know there is still much to be done as the history of our island-nation continues to unfold. There are still many pages to be written. And the most beautiful chapters of our Singapore history await us. (...) Singapore's position is strong. But the world around us is constantly changing. For 30 years, since the end of the Cold War, we have enjoyed unprecedented peace and stability in the Asia Pacific. Unfortunately, that era is over. Great powers are competing to shape a new, as yet undefined global order. We need to prepare for these new realities and adapt to a more messy, riskier world. (...) Today Singapore is at a high economic level compared to most other countries. By international standards, we have built excellent systems of education, housing, health care and transportation. But circumstances are changing, technology is advancing and the population is aging rapidly. Therefore, we cannot afford to muddle along. We must continue to do our best to improve, upgrade and transform Singapore. I am convinced that we can and must do better. As Singaporeans, we all know what it means to exceed expectations, to go beyond what others think we can do, or even what we ourselves thought we could do. When the going gets tough, we don't collapse. We move forward, with confidence in our fellow citizens and in Singapore's future.

Full speech here

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