Singapore must help all to get good start: PM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singaporeans should respect one another, regardless of income or status.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singaporeans should respect one another, regardless of income or status.PHOTO: MCI

Singapore has a meritocratic system, but it has to ensure a level playing field and help everyone get to a good starting point so that they can succeed regardless of family background, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Speaking at a closed-door dialogue this month, PM Lee stressed the importance of reducing income inequality and safeguarding social mobility.

These two goals are inherent in many government policies, he said, such as the progressive income tax system, as well as high-quality and affordable housing, education and healthcare for all.

But social attitudes are just as important, he added, saying that Singaporeans should respect one another, regardless of income or status.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore must help all to get good start: PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe