SINGAPORE - After a successful 50 years, Singapore will need to build a stronger system, invest in its citizens and look after the environment to thrive in the next 50, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing.
Speaking about Singapore's future at an event on Thursday night (March 22), Mr Chan laid out what he saw as the country's three priorities moving forward.
While noting how past government policies - like building up water infrastructure - have helped Singapore tackle its challenges, he said a "better, stronger" system should be left behind for the next generation.
A strong system, he said, is one that is founded on a set of common values, such as meritocracy, diversity, and incorruptibility. And yet, he stressed that it should also be one that is flexible.
"A strong system, a resilient system, is one that is actually adapts to the time, and help people preempt challenges ahead of time," said Mr Chan, who is considered one of the front runners to be Singapore's fourth prime minister.
The labour chief also spoke about the importance of being good stewards of the environment, and strengthening Singaporeans, so the Republic would have a diversity of people to take it through its challenges - just as how as Swiss knife has multiple tools that can solve various problems.
"This is the reason why, even in the recent Budget, regardless of how tight the Budget may be, we are committed to investing in the future generations, to make sure that the next generation will have even greater opportunities to realise their full potential as individuals and collectively as Team Singapore," he added.
Ultimately, the aim was to achieve what he called "Singapore Unlimited".
"Unlimited by our size, unconstrained by our geography - that is our dream of a future Singapore, for a generation of Singaporeans that will do even better than us," he said.
He was speaking during the SG100 Foundation's second anniversary dinner at the Singapore Expo. The foundation is an initiative that aims to provide a platform that connects Singaporeans of various generations, so words of advice and tips on how to succeed in businesses could be passed down.
Separately during the event, Singaporean Jack Sim, founder of non-profit World Toilet Organisation, received the Commonwealth Point of Light award from the British High Commission's Deputy High Commissioner Alexandra McKenzie.
The award is given out by Britain's Queen to thank inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
The World Toilet Organisation aims to tackle the neglected issues of toilets and sanitation through education, training and building local business opportunities in some 58 countries.
As the first Singaporean to receive the award, Mr Sim said he was pleasantly surprised. Speaking to The Straits Times on the sidelines of the event, he said: "When you do volunteer work, you don't do it to win awards. But winning awards can help legitimise our work, so others will be drawn to join in."