Singapore Parliament reopens: New strategies for new way forward, says President Tony Tan

The second session of the Twelfth Parliament opened on Friday, 16 May 2014, 8.30pm at the Parliament House. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
The second session of the Twelfth Parliament opened on Friday, 16 May 2014, 8.30pm at the Parliament House. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

As Singapore prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence, the Government will adopt new strategies to address the concerns and aspirations of Singaporeans as it set out a "new way forward" for the nation.

This pledge was made on Friday by President Tony Tan Keng Yam in a speech in Parliament that starts off the second half of the Government's term.

The House was prorogued on April 15 for MPs to take stock of their work during the first half of the term.

Dr Tan, in his presidential address, said Parliament was opening at an important moment in Singapore's history, as the country prepares to celebrate its Golden Jubilee next year.

"At 50 we are still a young nation, with great promise ahead. Just as our pioneers overcame formidable obstacles with grit and determination to build today's Singapore, we too must create our Singapore of tomorrow," he said.

But the environment has changed and "so must our approach to nation building", he added.

Hence, the Government will pursue new strategies to address the concerns and aspirations of Singaporeans, he said.

Among its key goals for a better Singapore are to:

- strengthen safety nets for the vulnerable and elderly

- enhance retirement savings to give Singaporeans greater peace of mind

- support families and communities so as to nurture values such as empathy, filial piety, respect and mutual help

- create a better quality of life through providing improved transport options, more recreational space and rejuvenated neighbourhoods

- create more opportunities for working adults to have a fulfilling career, to keep learning all their lives, and to realise their dreams and aspirations

- help young Singaporeans fulfil their potential and follow their interests in diverse fields

Dr Tan said the Government would chart Singapore's journey along with its citizens.

"We have heard many citizens who participated in the Our Singapore Conversation," he said, referring to the series of dialogues held from 2012 to 2013 to discuss the country's future. "We will give substance to these voices and set out a new way forward for ourselves and our nation."