What did you catch from the President’s Address?

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“We cannot expect an easy journey ahead”

That message came out strongly.

The President’s Address is the next in line to paint a bearish forecast into 2016. It has been said quite a few times – the downturn is coming.

Here are a couple of other things he was trying to say:

– Terrorism
ISIS wants to establish a “wilayat”, a province under the ISIS caliphate, in the region.
– Our economy is going to grow slowly
We’ve had a good 50 years, but now that we’re mature… we’re going to see slower growth.

– We’ve got limited land and labour, we’re going to grow slower
Another economic message – this time its targeted at the people. Land we can do little about, but the people ah… we can train and upgrade ourselves and be resilient to the changes going on around us.

– We’re an ageing society
By 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 or older. That’s going to be a challenge to meet. Are we ready?

– We’re becoming diverse
Will we remain a cohesive society, or will our differences pull us apart?

Part 2

“We Must First Resolve To Move Ahead Together” …and with the gloomy news, His Excellency reminds us why we’re special.

– The Government reflects our commitment to move us together
Programmes in the last term of Government reflected our commitment to move forward together. The country strove to leave no one behind,and created opportunities for all.

– We’re committed to long-term investments that will transform Singapore.
More rails, more airports, more clinics, more towns!
Of course the purpose behind all this, is to create jobs and expand opportunities for Singaporeans where these wouldn’t have existed without Government intervention.

– On terrorism
The only way to fight this idealogical warfare by terrorists, is to reject violence and stay true to our pledge of one united people “regardless of race, language or religion”.

– On securing
Rocky times ahead. The President said that “There will be winners and losers among companies, with some painful dislocation” so that’s a proper warning to business owners. But the economic progress will ultimately benefit all Singaporeans.

– We will foster a caring society that is sustainable over the long term.
So in short, nope… that means no welfare society.

The fate of Singapore is tied to that of ASEAN. If ASEAN remains stable and our neighbours prosper, we too will prosper. But if ASEAN is fraught with tension or our neighbours stumble, we too will suffer.

Gloomy as it may be, the Address reminds us to steer the Singapore ship carefully through the storms ahead.

 

 

About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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