SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party set out to build a fair and just society when it was founded, and this mission has not changed, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (Nov 21) as the party marked its 65th anniversary.
PM Lee, who is the secretary-general of the party, called on Singaporeans to work with him and the PAP "as one Singapore" as he promised to maintain the trust of Singaporeans.
In an open letter that echoed his speech at the recent PAP convention on Nov 10, he noted that the domestic political landscape has evolved and external challenges have increased since the PAP was founded this day 65 years ago.
"To overcome these challenges, and keep Singapore politics working for Singaporeans, we need a capable and effective government," he said in the letter that was posted on the PAP website.
"Leaders must be responsive yet firm, to navigate Singapore skilfully through the difficulties ahead. Singaporeans must be united, to show the world that we are a strong, cohesive red dot."
When the PAP was inaugurated on Nov 21, 1954, in the Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore was still under colonial rule, and the party's leaders pledged to build a fair and just society in which the benefits of progress would be shared widely.
Said PM Lee: "This mission has not changed, from our first Secretary-General Comrade Lee Kuan Yew and his team, to Comrade Goh Chok Tong and his team, to my team, and the next 4G Team. This mission will never change."
He added: "Singapore, together with the PAP leadership, has come a long way. There is much more to be done."
He promised as he had during the party's convention that the PAP Government will work to create opportunities for Singaporeans to give them hope that the country will always improve.
The Government will also continue to build a united and cohesive society, where everyone, regardless of race, language and religion, has his rightful place, he added.
"As we mark the 65th anniversary of the PAP's founding, I hope you will work with me and the PAP as one Singapore, to advance Singapore towards a brighter tomorrow," he said.