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PM: S'pore must balance identity and openness

He also stresses need for solidarity amid drive to become global city

Published on Mar 28, 2014 7:52 AM
British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) greeting Singaporea Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he arrives for a meeting at Downing Street in London on March 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

Singapore has learnt from London in its drive to become a global city, but as a city state with no hinterland, it also has to be sensitive to national identity and social solidarity, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

In a speech comparing the two cities, he noted that, like the British capital, the Republic is striving to be a global city, offering a high-quality living and cultural environment at the crossroads of the East and West.

"Like London, we too must manage the stresses and strains of being a global city," he said.

"But unlike London, we have no larger country which is our hinterland. Our city is our country. Hence, we must get the balance just right - between national identity and cosmopolitan openness, between free market competition and social solidarity," he said.

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Background story


I am deeply honoured and yet humbled. I would like to dedicate this award to the people of Singapore who have worked so hard to build our nation. Special credit must go to our pioneer generation, who dreamt of a far better Singapore when we became independent, and took us a long way along the journey there. This award also reflects the long and close friendship between London and Singapore and between our peoples.

- PM Lee, on receiving the Freedom of the City award