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PM Lee Highlights 'Hope, Heart, And Home' In National Day Rally

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by Conqueror, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Conqueror

    Conqueror Alfrescian Old Timer

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    [​IMG]


    PM Lee Highlights 'Hope, Heart, And Home' In National Day Rally


    Hope, heart, and home – the three Hs were the overarching themes in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally Speech on Sunday evening.

    During his two-hour rally at the University Cultural Centre, PM Lee asked "What is the next chapter of the Singapore story?" even as he unveiled a series of new measures to tackle education, popluation and healthcare challenges to ensure the city-state stay competitives and relevant over the next 20 years.

    But he reserved his strongest words on the issue of xenophobia and relations between Singaporeans and foreigners during a tense, terse five-minute passage midway during the rally.
    HEART

    “Most Singaporeans understand the need of immigrants and foreign workers, and accept them… many have concerns because the influx has caused real problems and I completely understand this,” said PM Lee in his one of most impassioned rally speeches in years.

    “But I am worried by some of the nasty views expressed, especially online, and anonymously.”

    He gave the example of PRC student Sun Xu, who was slammed and criticised mercilessly for his insensitive comments, while the tale of a foreign nurse who saved a Singaporean on a bus went largely unnoticed.

    “It is wrong, shameful, and we repudiate that,” said PM Lee, adding that the issue of xenophobia has been made worse by technology like the rise of websites which “specialise” in anti-foreign sentiments and taunting.

    “It is now easier to give and take offense, you cannot pretend you didn’t see it.”

    He also said that the issue had reached international attention, with the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and even Xinhua News Agency running stories about the tense friction between Singaporeans and the immigrant population.

    Reasoning that while new citizens had the duty to commit themselves to Singapore and integrate, PM Lee said that Singaporeans would also have to put in effort.

    “We have PRCS serving in grassroots and doing community work... Indians who become mentors in SINDA... I heard of a German PR married to a Singaporean who shops in Tekka Market, makes sambal, and loves durians,” said PM Lee, to laughter from the audience.

    “Singaporeans must show a generosity of spirit to one another, including new arrivals.”

    Still on the theme of “Heart”, PM Lee urged Singaporeans to treat each other better, highlighting the need for more social enterprises and day-to-day interaction before the country loses its “kampong spirit”.

    Raising examples of an increasing number of neighbours quarrelling over common spaces, parking lots – or worse, rallying together to oppose nursing homes and studio apartments in their district, PM Lee said that Singaporeans seemed to be getting “less patient, less tolerant, less willing to compromise in order to get along”.

    He emphasized the importance of not allowing this behaviour to spread, saying that it was not “just a matter of courtesy” but a deeper reflection of the unselfish and respectful true nature of Singaporeans.

    HOPE

    Education – all the way from pre-school to university – was another main focus of PM Lee’s National Day Rally, as he laid out a series of plans with significant long-term impacts on Singapore’s education system.

    The first major change was to turn the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and private institution UniSIM into Singapore’s fifth and sixth universities, allowing SIT to expand places and award degrees in its own name. He said the focus would be on applied degrees for practical employment opportunities and jobs in demand such as engineers, therapists and social workers.

    The change would increase in the number of university places by 2020, from 13,000 university admissions per year now to 16,000.

    This will mean that 40 per cent of each cohort makes it to university, a huge jump from 27 per cent today.

    “I hope that Singaporeans will take advantage of this – not just to collect a piece of paper, but develop themselves, learn something useful, and make a contribution to society,” said PM Lee.

    The second announcement was the creation of a statutory board specifically to oversee pre-school education.

    While he said the government would not nationalize pre-school education in Singapore, PM Lee said that such a board was necessary to “substantially raise the quality of pre-school education for children aged 5 and 6 years old”, while keeping pre-school affordable for middle and lower-income households.

    The board would aim to “level up” all the students and to make a positive difference to their development through upgrading teacher training, and bringing in more pre-school operators to increase the variety of options.

    “The transformation will take some time, but we’re confident we’ll see results in five to seven years,” said PM Lee.

    He reserved some choice words, however, for over-competitive parents, telling them not to rob their children of their childhood.

    “Pre-school means to learn through playing as well – you must not bring the primary one syllabus down to five and six year olds. No homework is not a bad thing,” said PM Lee, giving examples of overzealous parents who sent their children to two kindergartens or tuition classes well before primary school.

    HOME

    However, the issue that seemed to drive closest to home on Sunday night was Singapore’s rapidly declining fertility rate – a problem that the country has been struggling to solve.

    Bringing up a power-point chart that put the decline into perspective – from a 2.1 replacement rate in 1975 to just 1.2 in 2012, PM Lee spoke plainly about the issue.

    “We have a problem,” he said. “More Singaporeans are remaining single, not having children.”

    He said that population agency National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) has been studying the issue intensively and seeking opinions from Singaporeans , and will have a series of countermeasures come January 2013.

    “Many Singaporeans explained their considerations and concerns,” said PM Lee.

    He spoke of a young teacher who said that her issues were work-life balance – and that the conclusion would be that it was necessary to introduce paternity leave.

    “We’ve said no (to paternity leave) for very long, but I think it’s time that we change,” said PM Lee, to resounding applause.

    “It’s necessary to signal the importance of the father’s role and shared responsibility in raising children.”

    PM Lee said that besides the possibility of paternity leave, the NPTD would also be looking into promoting flexible work arrangements, and changing employer attitudes as well as work culture.

    For those couples worried about not having a home to raise a child, PM Lee said that they would be considering giving couples with young children priority in booking Housing Board Development flats.

    “Now that the housing issue is off the boil and there are many more flats in the pipeline, it could maybe even encourage them to have a kid so that the flat may come faster,” he joked.

    Plans for creating a Medisave account for every newborn child as well as a small “hongbao”, or incentive, are also in the pipeline.

    Singapore cannot develop “fall from heaven” mentality

    Even as PM Lee introduced the new measures, he continually impressed on the need for Singaporeans to take care of themselves and not simply rely on the Government and its reserves.

    “Ultimately, it’s not about money, but values and deep motivations,” he said of the new fertility measures. “We want to create the right social environment and ethos so Singaporeans want to settle down and have kids.”

    While PM Lee said that it was important to “uplift” the underprivileged and the needy, it was important to remember that “all benefits have to be paid for” and that Singapore was “already relying on reserves” and “spending part of the returns”.

    “We draw from reserves in a sustainable way, we have to husband these reserves,” said PM Lee, for the “next generation”.

    Referring to the provision of a safety net of social services for the needy, he said, “People have to be motivated not just to queue up and get something from the state. We cannot replace what you and your family can do for yourselves and each other.”

    “Over the past decade, the government has addressed new social needs through... programmes – Workfare, Comcare, additional and Special Housing Grants... as well as significant initiatives for the elderly, disable, and low income households,” said PM Lee.

    He noted that while it was the duty of the government to provide jobs and economic growth for Singaporeans, it would not “keep the competition away and the big bad wolf outside”.

    “We have to be tough enough, we must have the spunk to pick ourselves up, press on,” he said.
     
  2. steffychun

    steffychun Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Unless he reduces his pay further, I won't accept his arguments for more immigrants. Even then, immigration should be balanced.
     
  3. THE_CHANSTER

    THE_CHANSTER Alfrescian (Inf)

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    You could sense from his body language and facial expression that he was very angry about xenophobia being expressed on certain websites. A very serious look unlike when is tries to crack a joke and the audience obediently laughs.
     
  4. byleftcan

    byleftcan Alfrescian Old Timer

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    I'm ok with low-end worker immigration - service, retail, menial and manual labour. Mid-income PMET no. High-end PMET only if they bring in jobs and money.
     
  5. steffychun

    steffychun Alfrescian Old Timer

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    So you want more Banglas but less educated Indians
     
  6. ConyuConhee

    ConyuConhee Alfrescian Old Timer

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    well done dragon prince
    your policies are well ..... simply great
    bring joys and happiness to the people
    keep it up
    we are blessed with you around

    long live pap
    long live lky
    pap for singapore
    pap for 2016 and beyond
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  7. Jlokta

    Jlokta Alfrescian (InfP) Old Timer

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    He must be damn tu lan we keep calling him Ass Loong, Pinky, Gay Loong on SBF lah. :D
     
  8. kingrant

    kingrant Alfrescian Old Timer

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    All of you ought to be ashamed of yrselves, for slamming foreigners online and anonymously.

    With the PM talking like that, you are as good as Hopeless, Heartless, and Homeless.
     
  9. myfoot123

    myfoot123 Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Goh Chok Tong - Swiss Standard of living
    LKY - Golden period to age gracefully
    LKY - No one will be left behind.

    So all the above didn't bear fruit. Now new word this year:

    Hope, Home and Heart. Who buy to buy another such HOLYshit?
     
  10. @rmadill0

    @rmadill0 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    I guess it is not much of the nationality. It is the jobs that they doing here.
     
  11. Leongsam

    Leongsam Administrator Staff Member Old Timer Old Timer

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    Every year after each national day rally, loser sinkies will flock to on line forums and blogs and complain about the bullshit, the shallow arguments, the deceit and the lies that the incumbent PM has spewed for a few hours.

    Yet nothing changes for these keyboard revolutionaries from one year to the next because apart from sitting in front of their computers and moaning, they do nothing during the ensuing 12 months that would improve their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

    You reap what you sow. If you sow nothing, you'll never have anything to harvest.
     
  12. @rmadill0

    @rmadill0 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    You just mean Shit right? Coz I cannot see which part of it is HOLY. Maybe get Con Hee to deliver the speech might make the shit more holy.
     
  13. @rmadill0

    @rmadill0 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    We are exposing the lies, false promises online to raise awareness so that come the next GE, more will vote against them. So you cannot say we are doing nothing.
     
  14. kingrant

    kingrant Alfrescian Old Timer

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    what you said is a non-sequiteur.

    O, East is East, and West is West..and Never the Twain shall meet....

    The
    are not the same
    thereby rendering yr argument deceitful.





     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  15. Spock

    Spock Alfrescian Old Timer

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    You guys should be thankful and take heed of Dear Leader's admonishments in his National Day Lecture, oops, I mean Rally.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  16. zhihau

    zhihau Alfrescian (InfP) + S-Mod Old Timer

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    boss,

    last noted, you only reap what you sow when conditions are right. the weather so erratic these days, some times the harvest also kaput.
     
  17. blackmondy

    blackmondy Alfrescian (Inf)

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    He's angry because his wife is not as chio as Yingluck.

    Any man will be angry when his wife looks just like any other man.
     
  18. myfoot123

    myfoot123 Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Right, every national day rally, Singapore is just the same as 10 years ago The greatest deceit is none other than using National Day rally to buy vote. Didn't he mention briefly last night that he hopes the resident he mentioned will vote for him? If it is an election rally, I don't think he can garner a crowd more than half the audience in the theatre. In fact, everyone sitting in the theatre are the problems Singapore is facing today, just look at them objectively - they are civil servant nerds, yes-man fat ass lazy grasslooters, greedy SME's boss, grandmaster polishers, white-washed students, fund-crave association leaders, attention seeker quick to praise and muse. Collectively, they are fell people that will not make Singapore a better or prosperous place. They know their purpose for being at the show, not for the their substance but form. LHL knew it very well but he has no choice, dogs are dogs, and having them there with bark and no bites is better than no election rally turnout.

    After all his hot air is done, a littled added insult to singaporean's intelligence, reality will set in again because life goes on as usual like nothing was said at all. All these audience still get their obscene perks, funding to charity continue to pour, expensive seats and bikes continue to be purchased, helps continue to be an upheal task for the poor, fertilitiy ratecontinue to be low with more influx, heart/hope/home is just as hifalutin as his father wished to be, PAP continu to be arrogant and self-serving until the heat turn on and he will do the same opera for 2013 ND Rally and so on until election.

    You get the point.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  19. laksaboy

    laksaboy Alfrescian (Inf)

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    So close. What a wasted opportunity.

    Could have worn a pink shirt. Instead, he wore a red one.

    Is there anything else of significance that I have missed?
     
  20. captainxerox

    captainxerox Alfrescian Old Timer

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    we deserve what we get. this is a feel good propaganda rally of success stories of those rags to riches.

    of those who succeeded - good for them to rise against the odds, but how many did not and there was no safety net to catch them as they splat on the floor? and we must ask, and pap must ask, why and how there was no net for them? is it those who fell are stupid and lots of them are or they really got no chance? e.g. healthcare and means testing screwing the middle class. new bto flats beyond the "affordability" of young couples.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012

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