PM Lee to deliver National Day Rally speech on Aug 29: Get live updates from The Straits Times

PM Lee Hsien Loong's speech will look at the full range of measures to continue lifting the incomes of Singaporeans.
PM Lee Hsien Loong's speech will look at the full range of measures to continue lifting the incomes of Singaporeans.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his National Day Rally speech on Sunday evening (Aug 29) at Mediacorp.

He will speak in Malay and Mandarin from 6.45pm to 7.15pm, and in English from 8pm to 9.15pm, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

The rally – called off in 2020 due to Covid-19 – is seen as the most important political speech of the year. It traditionally involves policy changes and a charting of Singapore’s future direction.

In an interview last week, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said PM Lee’s rally speech will look at the full range of measures to continue lifting the incomes of Singaporeans, especially those at the lower end.

The speech will also cover ways to ensure fair hiring and human resource practices, so that both the Singaporean core and foreign professionals complement each other, Mr Wong said.

The minister noted that countries everywhere face the same concerns over whether foreigners are taking over jobs and opportunities for locals, and that these concerns have been amplified by the pandemic.

In his National Day message on Aug 8, PM Lee had highlighted anxieties over foreigners as one of three difficult issues brought out by the pandemic that Singapore needs to deal with.

He also gave an indication of the two other issues he will address in his rally speech – helping lower-wage workers to progress and managing issues of race and religion.

On helping lower-wage workers, he said a tripartite workgroup has been developing proposals to improve the prospects of lower-wage workers.

These will build on Workfare and the Progressive Wage Model to boost incomes, and create new opportunities for upskilling and job progression, he added.

On concerns that Singaporeans have over foreign work pass holders, PM Lee said the Government has to tweak its policies to manage the quality, numbers and concentrations of foreigners here.

As for race and religion, he said it is helpful to air and acknowledge these sensitive issues candidly and respectfully. Singapore will have to continually adjust a “hard-won and delicate balance” to maintain social harmony as society evolves, he added.

The National Day Rally will be broadcast on local television channels and radio stations and live-streamed on the Prime Minister’s Office’s YouTube page as well as the Facebook pages of PM Lee and government feedback unit Reach.

The Straits Times will also live-stream the rally on its website, Facebook page and YouTube page.

ST will be bringing you live coverage of the annual event on our website. Get instant updates on key announcements in our live blog.