5 challenges in Singapore's social compact - and the way forward

The Forward Singapore exercise launched by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong last month seeks to re-examine the Republic’s principles, priorities and policies. Insight looks at five things people want to update in Singapore’s social compact.

The current compact is rooted in a simpler time, when the world was less volatile and there was less diversity in Singapore. PHOTO: ST FILE
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SINGAPORE - Faced with strains ranging from a global pandemic to a world with a hot war and rising great-power tensions, whether a country holds together or comes apart depends on its social compact: a shared understanding of the responsibilities people have to one another in a society.

Alongside these external events, Singaporeans are coming of age with different aspirations and expectations, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said of why it is timely for the country's fourth-generation (4G) leaders to engage Singaporeans in the year-long Forward Singapore exercise to update the Republic's social compact.

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