Now that the Parliamentary debate is done and dusted, Singapore has to pick itself up and move on.
Painful as it may be, this episode in our history reminds us that while issues, strife and problems may hit us, we got to pull ourselves together and forge ahead in nation-building.
For more than 2 weeks, the entire country has had to deal with the seemingly internal family dispute online and all over the media, and that has unfortunately taken our focus on the important matters of the day, and even “gained” us bad publicity in the international arena.
After today’s parliament sitting, there are still many more important issues that Singapore needs to focus on: Jobs and Economy, Security (both internal and external), and bilateral relations with foreign countries.
Jobs and Economy
According to the Manpower Ministry’s Labour Market Report for the 1st Quarter of 2017, while redundancies have decreased, the long-term unemployment rate has edged up slightly.
And while the unemployment rate remains unchanged in March 2017, it was higher than a year ago.
If Singapore is to move onward into the future, jobs must be created and filled and Singaporeans have to continue to find ways to stay relevant in their skills.
Two weeks ago, we saw 2 instances of radicalised Singaporeans detained by the Home Affairs Ministry.
Add to that ISIS conflict in Syria and Marawi and terrorist attacks in the UK.
We all know how terrorism can strike us anytime and there is definitely a strong need to focus on anti-terrorism efforts to stay vigilant and weed out radicalisation. As a small nation, any terrorism attack on us can be very damaging, which is why we need to pull together to guard against any attack on us.
Singapore takes it bilateral relations very seriously.
We understand that in order to be a relevant and valuable partner to other countries, Singapore has to maintain its long-term value proposition and relevance to other countries.
In facing bigger superpowers, Singapore is but a small nation situated in a tough neighbourhood, hence it has no choice but to subscribe to international laws.
These are just 3 issues that the government will have to focus back on as we move on as a nation.
As Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said it himself during the Parliamentary debate today (4 July):
“This sad public squabble between the Lee siblings is blown out of proportion. But it has embroiled all of us, has tarnished the reputation of Singapore and distracted the Government from far more important work.”
After all that’s said and done, it’s plain to see that Parliament remains confident in the integrity of our Prime Minister and the Government. None of the Members of Parliament (not even the Workers’ Party Members of Parliament) cast any doubts in the last two days.
Just see what PM has to say at the end of the Parliamentary debate.
It is now time to move on, Singapore.