SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on Sunday (Nov 6) outlined three hopes that he has for the year-long Forward Singapore exercise, including strengthening assurances and protection for Singaporeans in a more volatile world.
Mr Wong, who was named the leader of the fourth generation, or 4G, team in April, was addressing more than 3,000 party members at the biennial People’s Action Party (PAP) conference held at Resorts World Sentosa.
He is also a member of the party’s Central Executive Committee, having been elected into the top decision-making body for the first time in 2020.
Along with the 4G team, Mr Wong leads the Forward Singapore exercise, which aims to set out a roadmap for the next decade and beyond.
In his speech on Sunday, he said that he first wants to “help Singaporeans of all backgrounds realise their full potential and share in our country’s success”.
“The PAP has always strived to achieve this by building a good education system, and by giving everyone a stake through public housing,” he added.
Mr Wong said he believes there is still scope for the party to do more, ensure children who come from more difficult circumstances have a good start in life, and “broaden our conception of merit by recognising and developing talents across diverse fields, and helping everyone advance at multiple stages of their lives”.
Additionally, he said he would like to “strengthen assurances and protection for Singaporeans in a more uncertain and volatile world”.
“This means tilting our policies further in favour of the less fortunate and vulnerable,” he added.
“We want to do more to uplift lower-income families, and to help our seniors with their healthcare and retirement needs, especially those who had lower or less stable incomes during their working years.”
Mr Wong’s third hope, he said, was to see a “stronger sense of solidarity and responsibility in our society”.
He added: “It’s not just about the Government doing more. It’s also about all of us coming together, everyone playing their part to achieve our shared goals, because that’s how we strengthen our ethos of collective support and build our democracy of deeds.”
He noted that these hopes and ideals that he mentioned are “embedded in the PAP’s roots and DNA” and that the party achieves these goals in partnership with others, with the most important partnership being the symbiotic one with the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC).
Mr Wong told the audience that he sought their continued support to actively participate in the Forward Singapore process and encourage those around them to take a keen interest in it.
“Whether we get it right will make all the difference, for it will not only determine policy outcomes but also define the refreshed compact and texture of our society,” he said.