Singapore must get its politics right in order to remain economically competitive for the future, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday at a dialogue.
Answering a question on how to build a sustainable economic model for the next 30 years Mr Lee said it has to start with politics.
"If the politics is wrong, you can't get the economics right," he said in a dialogue at the DBS Asia Insights conference at Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
The right politics will allow the government to implement policies to share the wealth broadly and keep society from being divided, he said.
Getting the politics right will also allow Singapore to continue to attract the best people to be political leaders to govern the country, he added.
In an hour-long dialogue with DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta, Mr Lee also discussed challenges in the region as well as the prospects of the United States, China and Japan.
He said his biggest concern is how to keep Singapore's "specialness".
"We are today exceptional. But if you are not exceptional, you are ordinary, I think you are in big trouble."