SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said that Singapore must ensure that it has a sustainable population to face future challenges.
Mr Teo said as a small country, Singapore faces many uncertainties and emphasised the need for residents to remain united to overcome such challenges.
"This is the way that we have been able to make progress, in our four to five decades of history as an independent country," he said.
"We continue to face big challenges for the future, and one of the big challenges we have for the future is how to build a sustainable population for ourselves. Our population is slowly ageing and eventually, over the next 15 years or so, will even start to shrink."
"Having a sustainable population is one of the most important things for the future because it will help to keep our country and our people vibrant, alive, lively and one of the most exciting cities in the world," he added.
Mr Teo also highlighted the importance of building a sustainable population.
"(We have to) help to make sure that our population continues to remain sustainable so that we can continue to have a stable Singapore for the future," he said.
"(We have to have) people to look after our elderly, a country and economy that’s growing, and also very importantly, a place where young people, your children and your grand children, will want to make their home because there are exciting things going on, interesting jobs, cutting—edge opportunities and also many interesting things to do in their free time, in their leisure. And also, a very good place to bring up children.
"So there are many things we need to do for the future. And having a sustainable population is one of the most important things for the future because it will help to keep our country and our people vibrant, alive, lively and one of the most exciting cities in the world."
Mr Teo was speaking to some at a National Day Observance Ceremony held at Elias Park Primary School on Saturday morning.
About 1,000 members of the Pasir Ris West Grassroots Organisation, teachers and students from schools and kindergartens in the area attended the event.
Around 300 took part in a community parade, comprising contingents ranging from uniformed groups to senior citizens.
Deputy Prime Minister and Advisor to Pasir Ris—Punggol Grassroots Organisation Mr Teo Chee Hean inspected the parade as the Guest of Honour.
Guests were also treated to cultural performances, including a Silat or Malay martial arts performance and Chinese orchestra pieces, to celebrate Singapore’s multi—racial, multi—religious society.
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