10 Choice Quotes by DPM Tharman at the 45th St Gallen Symposium

Have you seen the dialogue with our finance minister Tharman? I did, and I find the following quotes most compelling:

1. We did not expect to survive, we were not expected to survive… but that forces you to realise that all you have is yourself. The world owes you nothing.

2. We took advantage of diversity – different races, different religions – and melded the nation (to one in which) people were proud of being who they were, but were Singaporean first and foremost.

3. And I’d say when (the implementation of the Ethnic Integration Policy) was first done, I don’t think we knew how important it was going to be.

4. You do aspire to a liberty of being able to walk the streets freely, particularly if you’re a woman or a child, at any time of the night; you aspire to the liberty of living in a city that is not defined by its most disorderly elements; you aspire to the liberty of having the opportunity for an education and a job, regardless of your race or social background; and you aspire to a liberty of practising your religion without fear of bigotry or discrimination.

5. I don’t expect, and I don’t think any of my colleagues in government expect, (that Singapore is) going to remain this way forever.

6. There are ways in which an active government can intervene to support social mobility, develop opportunities and take care of the old, but not undermine personal and family responsibility.

7. I believe in the notion of a trampoline.

8. Well, you know the word “developed” doesn’t figure very much in our parlance, in our domestic debates or anything like that because as far as we are concerned, we just have to keep improving. We haven’t arrived.

9. Don’t hit too hard a government that works very hard to do what is in the interest of the people and has a good track record.

10. But the unfortunate fact of the last 50 years is that governments that gave money without conditions — in other words, as long as you are unemployed you get it, and you get it for an extended period — did not anticipate how it would change social culture… We don’t want that to happen to Singapore.

If you haven’t watched the dialogue yet, do have a look at it here:









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