SINGAPORE - Singaporeans must come together if the country is to keep thriving, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim on Saturday night.
"Either we sink or swim together. It is not every man for himself," he told residents at the Kolam Ayer Lunar New Year Celebrations Dinner.
"This, to me, must be the essence of SG50 - staying united to ensure a better future for all of us."
He noted that this year's Budget is about "collective responsibility where those who can afford it help to pay for those unable to do so". For instance, income tax is being raised for the top 20 per cent of earners.
To face the future, Singapore must also keep an eye on long-term issues and not be complacent, said Dr Yaacob.
For instance, it might be popular to make healthcare free for all.
But with an ageing population, there is no guarantee that Singapore will have enough resources 20 years from now, he added: "We will just be burdening future generations with this challenge."
Instead, "the right thing to do" is to have a healthcare system in which everyone contributes, as is the case with Medishield Life.
That is a sustainable system that can see Singapore through the next 50 years without breaking the bank, he concluded.