National Day Messages…

My first National Day post. Here are some extracts from the various parties in Singapore.

Dr. Paul Tambyah, known for his impassioned questioning of Singapore’s corporatized healthcare system, at the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Singapore Day dinner:

A corporation is concerned about the bottom line, about maximizing shareholder value while on the other hand, a country or a society is concerned primarily about the wellbeing of the people. The key indicator should not be GDP growth, it should be whether all people – young and old, rich or poor, able bodied or disabled are allowed to reach their fullest potential. There are corporations like Google which believe in “Doing No Evil” and perhaps we can start by being less of a Microsoft and more of a Google!

Investments are based on trust.  Singaporeans do have a high degree of trust in the government although recently there have been many questions raised about policies and practices. It is time for the government to trust the people. Philip Yeo who is one of the most outspoken voices of the establishment has said “My greatest fear now is that the Government is terrified of the people.”…

Hazel Poa, National Solidarity Party Secretary-General, emphasizes political breakthrough and treatment of foreigners in her National Day message:

Together, we have altered Singapore’s political landscape forever and no one can take this away from us. Our government now knows that it cannot be business as usual – governing in a unilateral fashion and with a single minded pragmatism that has allowed so many to fall through the cracks of our society.

We have discovered that by speaking up we can impose accountability on the Government. Ministers who were not performing to expectations can be replaced […]

Socially, the heightened tensions between locals and foreigners demand our attention. While these foreigners have been the easy targets of our discontent, remember that they too have the right to seek a better life on our shores, much as our forefathers did before. We who have been here for so long must never condescend and forget that Singapore is a society of immigrants.

Sylvia Lim, Chairman of the Worker’s Party, in her National Day message:

This National Day, the Workers’ Party wishes to pay a special tribute to the first generation of Singaporeans who struggled to build our nation during the early decades of independence. They are now our parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts; the elderly cleaners; the retired civil servants and teachers; the first National Servicemen.

This generation embodies the true Singapore spirit—the determination to work hard, overcome the odds and carve out a better life for their children. They serve as an shining example for many future generations to follow.

Lastly, PM Lee in his National Day message, talked about how the government helped tide Singapore’s economy through external financial shocks while managing internal problems, before ending as usual with a series of ‘we need to…’ statements:

However, we should be especially careful of one issue. While we will always put Singaporeans first, let us not turn negative on foreigners. Singapore has prospered because we have been open to the world and alive to economic competition and change. This is how we have attracted investments, created jobs for Singaporeans, and made ourselves a vibrant city. We cannot afford to close in on ourselves, or attribute all our problems to foreigners. We must stay connected to the world, and continue to welcome talent and ideas, wherever they may come from. Only then can we continue to thrive, and build a better Singapore for all […]

We need to keep building for the longer term. We will grow our economy by upgrading ourselves and raising productivity, reducing the need to import so many foreign workers. We will educate our young well, and retrain our older workers effectively. And we will create an outstanding living environment for ourselves: a City in a Garden, and a vibrant, thriving home for all Singaporeans. We have comprehensive plans to achieve these goals.

Compare the messages from the various parties–any similarities or differences in themes and focus? 

What would be YOUR National Day message to fellow Singaporeans? 

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