The People's Action Party's (PAP) strong showing in this year's general election is not just a good result for the party, but a "tremendous plus for Singapore", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told party activists on Sunday (Dec 6).
"It assures Singaporeans of at least another decade of predictability, political stability and good governance," said Mr Lee, who is the PAP's secretary general, at the annual party convention.
He said the result, in which the PAP took 69.9 per cent of the popular vote and 83 out of 89 constituencies, allows Singapore to complete the "crucial transition" from Singaporeans and leaders who experienced 1965, to a completely post-independence generation.
If successful, this transition will show that Singapore can remain exceptional and that the system of governance has been institutionalized, he added.
The PAP's "solid victory" made several things possible, said PM Lee.
Firstly, in the 2011 and 2015 elections, he was able to gather a new team. "There is now time for this new team to gel, to take over the reins, well before the election after next."
Secondly, Singapore will be able to transform its economy and transition to a new phase of development.
And thirdly, Singapore will be able to deal with external challenges as "one united people". Over the next decade, Singapore is likely to face external trouble, he cautioned. "We need to deal with this external rough weather without brunt weakened or distracted by internal divisions."
Looking ahead, PM Lee noted that the government has been working on long-term plans, with master plans for policy areas such as ageing, sustainable living and transport. New parts of Singapore are being developed and heritage being preserved.
For the new term of government, the PAP's election manifesto sets out the main ideas, building on the previous term but going further, he said.
The government will see through existing works in progress such as public transport improvements and Medishield Life. To look beyond SG50 to SG100, there is the committee on "the future economy" and the public SGFuture discussions.
PM Lee noted that two momentous occasions this year - founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's death and Singapore's 50th birthday - made Singaporeans realise "that we had worked together, the Government and the people, to build a special society".
"What will strengthen us further is not to have all problems solved by Government but to have Singaporeans doing things together, for one another."
Like the SG50 celebration fund, which encouraged ground-up initiatives, the current Future of Us exhibition and SGFuture conversations aim to get Singaporeans working together for the future.
PM Lee said he hoped the SGFuture conversations would lead to action, with projects led by the people. That is the kind of society that the PAP aims to build, he said: "a democracy of deeds".
If society is not united, politics will be divisive. But if society is cohesive, constructive politics have a chance to work - and the PAP can continue working for the interest of all Singaporeans, he concluded.