Last month, the International Olympic Committee met in Singapore,
to choose the city for the 2012 Olympic Games. Eventually London
won. For a few days, under the international spotlight, Singapore
played the gracious host. We did well, and must do even better on
future occasions, for example next year, when the IMF and World Bank
hold their meetings here. This is part of our transformation into a
leading city, a first class environment for talent and enterprise,
and a home for Singaporeans of all races and faiths.
growth is the best social welfare programme. Prosperity provides us
the resources to tackle many difficult challenges. One challenge is
the widening income gap. We cannot reverse this worldwide trend,
but we can help lower income Singaporeans to keep up and find new
opportunities. We are training them in useful skills, re-designing
their jobs to pay better, educating their children well, and helping
them with their utilities and transport bills. And we have the
ComCare fund, which helps the needy to get back quickly on their
challenge is our aging population. Singaporeans must keep active,
stay healthy and work for as long as possible, so that as they age
they can enjoy financial security, afford good medical care, and
live more fulfilling lives. Senior citizens are valued members of
our society, and we must tap their collective experience and wisdom.
must continue to look after the health of all Singaporeans, young
and old. I know many of you worry about your medical expenses. But
our healthcare system delivers a high standard of care for all. We
will strive to make healthcare services more affordable for all
income groups. But you must do your part too, to look after
yourself and keep fit and healthy, because staying well is the best
way to keep medical costs down.
hard issues with no quick and easy solutions. But we will learn
from the experience of other countries and avoid their mistakes, and
I believe that we can manage these challenges.
Looking ahead, the signs are favourable. Asia is prospering, and
our neighbours in ASEAN are doing well. We are doing the right
things, investing in our people and gearing up to live in a
different world. I expect the next five years to be better than the
last five. Therefore I am confident that working together, we will
make Singapore grow and prosper beyond what we have today.
On this 40th
anniversary of our independence, I wish all Singaporeans a happy
National Day. Let us dedicate ourselves anew, as one united people,
to securing this bright and enduring future for Singapore.