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Social policy must not undermine personal responsibility: DPM Tharman

Published on Dec 2, 2013 7:21 PM
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (left), along with Tommy Koh, gives the annual S Rajaratnam lecture on the challenges of sustaining a fair and inclusive society. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam highlighted on Monday the important role of culture in building a good society, in a speech to more than 600 foreign service officers and members of the diplomatic corps at the annual S Rajaratnam Lecture.

As the Government does more for those at risk of falling behind, how it redistributes resources is as crucial as how much it gives out, he said.

What matters is building a culture that combines individual responsibility with a willingness to support others. That is what will determine whether Singapore's shift to a more inclusive society is successful, he said.

Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister, outlined how policy could have a negative impact on social culture if it eroded the work ethic.

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