The following is Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s 2020 New Year Message to People’s Action Party members and activists:
2019 has been a special year. We commemorated our Bicentennial, and 65 years since the founding of the PAP. This year has been rich with lessons. As we start the New Year, let me share with you my reflections from 2019.
In different parts of the world, we see sharper political polarisation, social unrest, and people driven apart by differences of race, religion, class or generation. These divisions feed distrust and suspicion, hurting societies and their people.
In Singapore, our people have more diverse needs and experiences. We must not allow our differences to divide us. Instead, we must harness our diversity as a strength. I am glad that the Singapore Together movement, launched in June this year, is gaining momentum. We have heard the concerns and aspirations of Singaporeans. We engaged our people on what we want to achieve for our country. More importantly, we are working with Singaporeans to put plans into action. I look forward to working with more Singaporeans to build our shared future together in the coming year.
A shared future for all Singaporeans must also mean giving everyone a sense of hope and possibility. For our seniors, we rolled out the Merdeka Generation Package this year. For our young families, we made owning their first home and pre-school education for their children more affordable. We improved rail reliability to provide a smoother public transport experience. We gave greater emphasis to environmental sustainability, and launched the Zero Waste Masterplan.
On the economic front, we pressed on with economic transformation. While growth has slowed, we avoided a recession. In the coming year, we will step up our support for businesses to transform and build new capabilities. We will also help our workers deepen and acquire new skills to seize new opportunities. We must also continue to nurture our young, support our families, and care for our seniors.
I understand that Singaporeans are concerned about the economic slowdown and the growing uncertainty in the global environment. We are looking at measures to tackle these, even as we build for the longer term. We are committed to investing in and creating opportunities for Singaporeans to make a better life, and ensuring that no one is left behind if they put in effort.
The PAP’s mission is to build a fair and just society where the benefits of progress are spread widely to all. Generations of PAP leaders and comrades have served with conviction, compassion, integrity and distinction. We have always done what is right by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans. The 4G leadership will do the same. We will continue to win and honour the trust and support of Singaporeans, with all our heart and strength.
Our values – honesty, multiracialism, meritocracy and self-reliance – will continue to guide our way into the future. They give us the strength of conviction to do what is right for Singaporeans and ensure that we progress as a nation.
In the coming year, I count on you, our comrades, to translate our vision for Singapore into action, in this Singapore Together movement. Let us bring Singaporeans together to work as one, and build an even better Singapore for all.
I wish you and your loved ones happiness and good health in the New Year.