Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech on Sunday offered a sober appraisal of the geopolitical and home-grown challenges ahead, even as he sought to rally Singaporeans on the way forward. Mr Lee reminded his audience of the need to "get real" and be prepared that things can change suddenly and quickly on the world front. Covid-19 has not gone away and global times are rife with challenges, seen not least in the war in Ukraine and in serious and growing tensions between the United States and China, especially over Taiwan.
Despite these dark clouds, there are silver linings and opportunities to be seized if the country remains nimble, he noted. Singapore is now moving ahead after two years of aspirations and projects postponed because of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Singaporeans acquitted themselves well during those dismal times through their trust in one another and in the authorities. Today, the momentum for meeting the challenges ahead has returned, and can be ramped up, provided the country does what it takes, including staying open to talents from around the world. In the political realm, leadership succession is on track with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong having been chosen by fourth-generation ministers as their leader.