You know what people say about politicians and leaders?
James Freeman Clarke says that the difference between a politician and a statesman (leaders) is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation.
Indeed, the difference between certain politician wannabes and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is that one cares about the next election while our PM cares about Singapore’s next generation.
Which is why at last night’s National Day Rally, PM Lee touched on three seemingly non-pressing issues: Preschool Education, Fighting Diabetes and Smart Nation.
A opposition politician wannabe, Lim Tean posted on Facebook titled “Singapore PM delivers Banal Speech for National Day Rally”.
Lim laments that PM Lee did not touch on issues such as increasing unemployment, stagnating wages and so on, but instead chose to “assume the mantle of Chief Doctor of the Nation and spoke about diabetes.”
It is obvious that Lim has and continue to miss media reports that unemployment has been on the downward trend for the last quarter.
Wages also has been on a moderate rise, unlike what Lim claimed was “stagnating”.
All these while, the government has already put in place numerous policies to help with labour market issues that are not new.
Do a search on google and you will find schemes and policies to help Singaporeans upgrade their skills, find a new mid-career job and return back to work after being out of the workforce because of one reason or another.
This really begets a question: where has Lim Tean been all this while? How can he miss all these media reports of moderate growth in the labour market, and claim otherwise?
And to claim that PM Lee “chose not to address any of these pressing issues”, is really to turn a blind eye to the good that PM Lee and the government is doing for Singaporeans, today and more importantly, tomorrow.
Like many good and caring leaders with a heart, PM Lee addressed the issues he raised last night because he knew that it would affect Singaporeans not only today, but in the years to come.
And if Lim really thinks Diabetes is not too big an issue to raise during a National Day Rally, then he is being too myopic (which incidentally is connected to diabetes…the real eye problem, that is).
If Lim Tean truly had the heart of a leader, he would ensure that all areas are covered, including diabetes, which is an increasing problem for many Singaporeans young and old, as well as Smart Nation.
Let’s not be too short-sighted about policies. We need to look forward into the future with our policies; not just today but for the long-term.
Rightfully, PM Lee ended his rally last night with this:
“It is my Government’s duty to build for our future…we believed every family should have the chance to work hard and do well, and improve their lives. We wanted every generation to outdo their parents…”