Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat commemorated the birth anniversary of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on social media, by sharing a speech the late Mr Lee made in 1965.

Mr Heng, who also serves as Finance Minister and first assistant secretary-general of the ruling People’s Action Party, is widely expected to be appointed Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister when Mr Lee’s son and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gives up his seat sometime after the next General Election.

In a Facebook post published on Monday (16 Sept), Mr Heng shared a video of a speech the late Mr Lee made on 12 September 1965 — the year Singapore attained independence. Mr Lee had said in part:

“This country belongs to all of us. We made this country, from nothing, from mud-flats. Here we make the model multiracial society. This is not a country that belongs to any single community; it belongs to all of us. This was a mud-flat, swamp. Today, this is a modern city. 10 years from now this will be a metropolis. Never fear!”

Recalling these words, Mr Heng wrote: “Today would have been Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s 96th birthday. I was at the Sree Narayana Mission Chathayam celebrations yesterday, and was reminded of the speech he gave at the former site of the Mission in Sembawang back in 1965. His words rang with confidence and conviction:

“Over 100 years ago, this was a mud-flat, swamp. Today, this is a modern city. Ten years from now, this will be a metropolis. Never fear!”

Asserting that “Mr Lee’s exemplary vision and far-sighted planning has led to the bustling metropolis and world-class city state we have today,” Mr Heng – whose video garnered over 35,000 views – added:

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“54 years on, Singapore is still a work-in-progress. Together as one united people, we must continue to build our home with the same courage, grit, and resolve of our Pioneer and Merdeka Generations, to bring Singapore to greater heights for our children and their children.”