Singaporeans have good things to look forward to

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has given citizens some good things to look forward to.

In his National Day Rally speech, he encouraged Singaporeans to join the National Conversation - to contribute ideas and work together to make a better Singapore happen.

He emphasised that Singapore must keep on improving and cited three aspects - "hope, heart, home" - that should concern citizens.

He believes that we should build "a nation where our children will live better than us, like we did than our parents".

He mentioned that an outsider to Singapore had told him "we should give ourselves a little bit of credit" in how far we have come over the years.

After an appreciative applause, PM Lee mentioned a few things that Singaporeans can look forward to.

Regarding jobs, PM Lee said that "we are bringing in many new investments", thus strengthening the Singapore core of the work force.

He mentioned that Singaporeans should go to university to build up the work force.

He said there will be more investments in the transport system, with $60 billion spread over 10 years to improve Singapore's train systems.

A new initiative called Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) will see new buses, and new services that will start by next month.

On ageing and healthcare, new hospitals are in the works, as well as the building of new nursing homes and day care centres.

PM Lee also said, however, that keeping fit and living healthily are the best and cheapest healthcare anyone can provide themselves.

He went on to say that every Singaporean can afford and get their own homes as more housing estates will be developed.

In the longer term, there will be more land reclamation and the creation of new spaces, especially green ones.

He brought up a touchy subject - housing for singles. He said, at present, singles are allowed to buy resale flats and get government grants for them but mentioned that things will change and Minister for National Development, Mr Khaw Boon Wan will be looking into the matter.

PM Lee urged Singaporeans to keep upgrading themselves by "out-thinking" and "out-smarting" everyone else.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

ayxhy@sph.com.sg

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