S'pore's social policies: New normal or still an exceptional system?

As circumstances change, the key lies in crafting new policies that combine the left's social empathy with the right's ethic of personal responsibility

The concentration of talent and wealth in Singapore confers on the nation a location premium. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
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Public policy announcements are always in the news - a new scheme here, an enhancement there. Few, however, pause to reflect on what these add up to. Occasionally, the Government may string together a narrative for a major speech such as during the Budget debate or Committee of Supply, but the message is often lost among the policy details.

As a director at the Ministry of Finance from 2010 to 2016, I felt that there was a story worth telling about how Singapore has quietly but systematically overhauled its socio-economic system since the turn of the century.

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