Singapore — A 2014 statement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has resurfaced on Facebook, serving as cause for contemplation for some, as he highlighted the promise-keeping character of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).
On Oct 3, 2014, Mr Lee delivered a speech at the 60th anniversary lecture of the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), with the theme “Singapore In Transition – the Next Phase”.
In a pivotal time when Singapore was “at an inflexion point, changing gears, changing pace”, Mr Lee’s address covered three main topics: The need to maintain both an inward and an outward focus, the balance between being good-hearted and hard-headed, as well as how the nation’s past and the future shape its present.
On his second point, Mr Lee tied in the workings of the Government as an example of how important it was to “do the good-hearted things right”.
“When this Government makes a promise, we mean it and we keep it,” he said. “So while what we do speaks to the heart, we must be hard-headed about how to make it happen and how to live within our means, because that is the only way we can deliver on our promises.”
On the same day, the PAP Facebook page shared this snippet from Mr Lee’s speech as the #QuoteOftheDay.
Though at the time the quote was met with a mostly positive response from the public, its recent reappearance has caused some to contemplate Mr Lee’s statement.
The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed some of Singapore’s flaws to the world, especially the foreign worker dormitories, which many have taken as a sign of the current Government’s shortcomings. There is unhappiness on other matters. For example, the Government’s policy on foreign talent. And it announcing a S$100 Solidarity Utilities Credit, compared to the “billions for bosses and foreigners.”
With talk of a General Election already in the air, the photo was brought back online by Mr Louis Ching, who urged people to “Vote for change, vote for a brighter future, (and) vote the PAP out”.
Other people online rallied behind this call and backed the speculation regarding the direction Singapore’s current leaders are taking the nation. To Facebook user Andrew Lee, the issue is a matter of agenda. “When your pay is pegged to the country’s GDP, what will you do everyday? (Has) your duty to serve the citizens been relegated to find all ways to increase the GDP and more pay instead?” he asked.
On the other hand, another Facebook user, Mr Alan Tan, said the problem was in the “culture of promising and not delivering”.