If you didn’t have time to catch the National Day Rally 2016, here is our TL;DR version of the English speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who had to take a short break in between but came back to finish his speech like a true champ!
1. Don’t be scared of Uber, Pokemon Go
We’re gonna be disrupted by increasing pace of innovation. Don’t panic, go see what it’s about and how you can use it to make your lives easier.
Banning everything coz it’s new, too old school.
2. Invent your own solution and sell it to the world
Hate it when someone touches your package without your permission?
Maintain your package’s virginity with
gSpot iSpot, something like a celibacy belt which is tamper-proof.
iSpot is proudly made by a Singapore company and so hot in East Africa there are 10,000 iSpots already!
3. Invent cool shit in your own startup
Like this Rotimatic, a roti maker. I am still waiting for it to come to market though, it’s been quite a few years in the making. I’m excited to see what other inventions Singapore can create!
Need a space to be an entrepreneur? Go to Ayer Rajah Blk 71, 73 and 79.
4. No excuse for not developing your skills
You complain no moolah? There you have $500 SkillsFuture credit.
You complain no industry-specific classes? Call e2i, here’s one example.
5. Singapore’s polygamous relationship with the rest of the world
In one breath: Peace is important, respect international law (don’t anyhow take sides), South China Sea is one of 2 important trade routes linking Singapore to the world, ASEAN must be united, we have major projects with China (Suzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, One-Belt One-Road, AIIB), we are working with Malaysia and Indonesia on better relations.
6. We are a multi-cultural nation – respect each other
Don’t let other meddling hands break our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural bonds.
7. Singapore needs good politics, not crazy batshit ones
8. Our next President should be a good judge of character and financial matters
There’ll be a study on a report on how to improve the quality of the presidential candidates, what the President’s role can be more important, and how to be more inclusive of minorities.
9. PM Lee takes a short break
After standing for too long and dehydration, PM became a bit unsteady on his feet, and suddenly became ill, causing the entire country to stand on its feet in consternation before PMO updated that PM is ok.
10. PM Lee promptly announces succession plans
In a poignant moment just after he returned to the podium after recovering, PM Lee announced he will only run for 1 more General Election before he retires.
Minister Heng Swee Keat will resume his duties as Minister of Finance, and focus on next year’s Budget and Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), with Lawrence Wong as his sidekick.
11. After all the hell we’ve survived together, we can stand united and face the future!
We’ve tackled SARS, a bunch of financial crises, near-terrorist attacks, and yet we survived.
Just look at what we’ve built together for the last 51 years. We still have that fighting spirit within us to build a better nation for our next generation.
12. Divine discontent (you have to read the whole thing)
Question to PM Lee: “If God appeared before you and asked you for three things that you would want for Singapore, what would these be?”
If we wish for material things, we will regret it, because after we have got it, we will not be satisfied and we will want more.”
But what I would like is that we be blessed with a divine discontent – always dissatisfied with where we are; always driven to do better.
And yet, that we have the wisdom to count our blessings, so that we know how precious Singapore is, and we know how to enjoy and protect it.
If just these two wishes are fulfilled, that will be enough. Then we can keep on building something special in Singapore for many more years, and “Achieve Happiness, Prosperity, and Progress, for our nation”.