International Business & Economy Heng Swee Keat says Singaporeans must work together to build a 'strong...

Heng Swee Keat says Singaporeans must work together to build a ‘strong and united Singapore’ in 2019 budget speech

Heng also outlined the four major shifts that would potentially impact the country.

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Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his budget speech said that Singaporeans have to play their part to build a “Strong, United Singapore”.

Touching on the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore as he delivered his opening remarks, Heng said: “In our bicentennial year, let us reflect on the twists and turns in our history, so as to chart a path forward for an even better future for our people.”

Heng then identified four major shifts that may affect Singapore. These shifts are: a shift in global economic weight towards Asia, rapid technological advancements, changing demographic patterns, and decline in support for globalisation.

Heng also cautioned Singaporeans about issues to watch out for, such as geopolitical uncertainty given the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China and “occasional differences” Singapore may have with neighbours closer to home, such as our bilateral issues with Malaysia.

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Revealing that the thrust of Budget 2019 is to build a “Strong, United Singapore,” the Minister then presented the five main themes of this year’s budget. These are:

  • A safe and secure Singapore
  • A vibrant and innovative economy
  • A caring and inclusive society
  • A global city and home for all
  • A fiscally sustainable future

Cautioning that financial resources are not enough to build a “Strong, United Singapore,” Heng appealed to the people to play their part. He said: “We call on all Singaporeans to partner with the Government, and support one another to succeed in this endeavour.”

This article is part of The Independent’s Budget 2019 coverage. Please send your feedback and enquiries to news@theindependent.sg.

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