NATIONAL DAY RALLY 2017

National Day Rally 2017: Multiracial presidency 'will strengthen racial harmony'

Singapore's first president Yusof Ishak would be happy to see how much progress Singapore has made, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Singapore's first president Yusof Ishak would be happy to see how much progress Singapore has made, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Singapore's multiracial presidency will strengthen racial harmony and national pride, and enable its people to work together more closely, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the National Day Rally.

"It will enable us to work even closer together to face whatever challenges that may come our way, so we can thrive and progress as one people, one Singapore," he said in his Malay speech yesterday.

Next month's election is reserved for candidates from the Malay community, following changes to the law to ensure that the highest office in the land reflects Singapore's multiracial society.

"I am glad that the Malay community is participating fully in our efforts to build a better Singapore. Our collective resolve will enable us to tackle the challenges we face and progress together as one united people," he said.

This, said Mr Lee, was what Singapore's first president Yusof Ishak envisioned 50 years ago, adding: "If he were alive today, he would be happy to see how much progress we have made."

He said: "If all goes well, another distinguished Malay Singaporean will become our next president.

ONE UNITED PEOPLE

If he were alive today, he would be happy to see how much progress we have made.

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, on what the late Yusof Ishak would have thought of our multiracial progress.

"I hope he or she will bring as much distinction and honour to the office, and be as well-loved and remembered by Singaporeans as Encik Yusof Ishak was. Our multiracial presidency will strengthen our racial harmony, and our pride in and love of Singapore."

Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2017, with the headline 'Multiracial presidency 'will strengthen racial harmony''. Print Edition | Subscribe