Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024
Lawrence Wong

TL;DR – It’s going to affect you, me and every Singaporean daughter and son. #ICYMI, it’s DPM Lawrence Wong’s most significant speech since he was named leader of the PAP’s 4G team.

So DPM Wong just made his first major speech at a dialogue addressing union leaders earlier this week. At the event, he launched the ‘Forward Singapore’ exercise to set out the road map for Singapore. Heard of the Chinese saying, “富不过三代” (wealth does not exceed three generations)? Yup, this is why Singapore needs to refresh its social compact so that it remains fit for our complex world today. Well, you may ask: What is this ‘social compact’ thing? Abit cheem… A social compact is an implicit agreement between the Government, and the people on the roles and responsibilities each plays, so that together we can shape the growth of society! Really, the successes of our early years cannot be taken for granted. So the young, the old and the in between – we all have a role to play in shaping the future of Singapore!

DPM Lawrence Wong also called on Singaporeans to offer ideas to shape the future of Singapore including “How much more the Government should spend — and on what, as well as how much more our people are prepared to pay to fund this spending.” Are YOU prepared to pay a lil more so our future generations and our vulnerable can progress together?

In case you haven’t been following the news, here are 7 things the leader of the PAP’s 4G team said at the launch of ‘Forward Singapore’ that’s going to affect your lives, and mine.

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We find ourselves now at a crossroads in our nation’s journey.

We have a war raging in Europe fuelling global inflation, and possibly a recession – if not stagflation.  All of us had expected a strong recovery from COVID-19, but now we have flown into stronger headwinds.

Economically, we are in a better shape than most.

Unlike most developed countries, we have been able to achieve inclusive growth over the past decade — real wages of lower-income workers have risen faster than that of the median worker, so our income gaps have been narrowing. We are still creating many new jobs, thanks to the investments we have been able to attract from overseas, as well as the growth of our own companies and the skills of our workers.

NTUC has played a crucial role in shaping our social compact since the early years of our nation building.

Our unions steadfastly protected the interests of our workers – to get a fair deal. They persuaded workers to abandon strife and conflict, and work with employers instead. In turn, the Government provided a stable and conducive environment – that importantly enabled businesses to grow and create jobs, and to share the fruits of progress with all workers. The partnership will continue.

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DPM Lawrence Wong hopes to see a society and system that benefits many, not a few.

If we strengthen our social compact, we can turn each set of challenges into opportunities. DPM hopes to move towards a society and system that benefits many, not a few. One that rewards a wide variety of talents, not a conventional or narrow few; that values and celebrates all individuals for who they are and what they can achieve; and provides all with opportunities to do better throughout their lives.

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Our island nation needs to broaden its conception of merit beyond academic credentials.

DPM Lawrence Wong shared that we need to recognise and develop talents in diverse fields, and give our people opportunities to advance at multiple stages of their lives.

Competition is inevitable.

Singaporeans would have to accept some degree of competition whether they are here or overseas. But, he also reiterated plans to pass a new law to ensure that all employers uphold fair employment practices.

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We will continue to uplift our vulnerable workers.

As Singapore prospers, we need to ensure that our income and wealth gaps do not widen, and that every Singaporean has a fair share in the benefits of growth. Schemes like Workfare and the Progressive Wage Model will continue to support lower-wage workers.