The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 02, 2012
 

Singapore must not "go overboard" and abandon its values: PM Lee

 
 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said today that as the country re-examines fundamental questions about its future, it must not "go overboard" and abandon the values that have got Singapore to where it is now.

Pushing back against arguments that a focus on economic growth and a system based on meritocracy has harmed Singapore, Mr Lee said that Singaporeans who think that the Government over-emphasises growth do not appreciate how a lack of growth will impact the country.

Speaking at the People's Action Party's (PAP) conference to elect a new central executive committee, Mr Lee said that a period of low or no growth will affect Singapore's vibrancy, business sentiment towards the country and its own confidence. Low-wage workers will be hardest-hit, young people will leave for other countries and Singapore will become an "old folks' home," he said.

Similarly, he said he worries when he hears people say that meritocracy is wrong. While it has its problems, Singapore cannot replace meritocracy with a system based on wealth, connections or race, he said. Meritocracy is a fundamental principle of the PAP's, he emphasised.