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MM Lee: Values of Yesterday for a Successful Tomorrow

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By: Yap Yun Ying Sarah

9

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Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew gave his views on how Singapore could deal with increasingly pertinent issues that have great impacts on Singapore’s future during the annual Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum held at the National University of Singapore.

The forum, which was held on Monday, attracted a total of 1200 undergraduates and members of academia.

When asked about the values young Singaporeans should adopt for Singapore to thrive in the next 50 years, Lee emphasized the importance of values such as perseverance and diligence, which were the foundations of the nation’s forefathers.

He attributed Singapore’s success to the hard work and sacrifices of the nation’s forefathers and expressed his belief that it will require the same in order to keep Singapore successful in the years to come

“Today’s children do not understand what it means to be poor,” Lee said as he highlighted the pressing need for the younger generation to learn from Singapore’s past instead of staying contented with what the country has achieved today.

Lee answered nine prepared and pre-selected questions at the hour-long forum which covered issues that included the country’s widening income gap and Singapore’s response to climate change.

While he resented the inevitability of such problems in Singapore’s progressing economy and maturing society, Lee also presented Singapore’s unique responses.

Instead of worrying relentlessly about the widening income gap, Singapore’s approach would be to create as many jobs as possible, so that most Singaporeans hold a job. “Never mind your Gini coefficient. If you don’t have a job you get zero against those with jobs. So our first priority is jobs for everyone,” Lee said.

On tackling climate change, Lee took a practical approach in reasoning that it would be too costly for Singapore to adopt what countries such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have done in terms of their efforts for recycling. He believes that a rubbish chute in Housing Development Board flat is a major contributing factor for Singaporean’s not actively recycling and in order to correct this would be very expensive.

With regards to clamping down on harmful gas emissions in Singapore by international bodies, MM Lee feels that an international agreement would impede some of Singapore’s key industries such as our port facilities as well as the aviation sector.

The Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum is organized annually by the National University of Singapore Political Association.

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Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Home, Online News

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