Watching the National Day Rally speech, I was struck by the Prime Minister's candour and passion as he demonstrated how Singapore survived the odds to become a First World multiracial nation with an enviable standard of living.
PM Lee Hsien Loong emphasised that sound multiracial policies allowed Singaporeans to integrate into a cohesive society, a culture of self-reliance and mutual support made us a rugged society, and the Government's close bonds with the people established a congenial relationship between the individual, the community and the State.
This Golden Jubilee year is a time to reflect on what lies ahead.
While the achievements of the past have given us reason to celebrate, what is of pressing urgency now is for all Singaporeans to rally together to ensure that the strategies being formulated in response to challenges will add to increased sustainability in the years ahead, amid an uncertain geopolitical scene globally.
It is imperative that the Government ensures that policies are not only in sync with the desires and aspirations of an increasingly affluent and technologically and politically savvy electorate, but, more importantly, should also set the pace for disciplined growth and sustainability, while safeguarding peace, harmony and stability.
In this context, challenging issues need great foresight on the part of the state, working in concert with the citizens. Promoting integration across ethnic divides is of greater importance as our population gets more diverse and vocal.
For integration to succeed, it must be reciprocal and sincere, and all of us can contribute towards it - by creating a sense of community.
V. Subramaniam (Dr)