SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on Singaporeans to strengthen their "heartware" as the country charts a consensus for the future.
He said what’s most important is to strengthen the spirit and values that make citizens proud to be Singaporeans.
Mr Lee was speaking at the annual National Day Dinner for residents in his Ang Mo Kio constituency on Saturday.
Elaborating on his earlier National Day Message, Mr Lee again stressed that everyone has a part to play in building a better home in Singapore.
Improving hardware like new HDB flats and more train lines is just one aspect.
Strengthening our heartware — traits such as mutual respect, care and compassion, meritocracy and integrity — is most important, said Mr Lee.
Mr Lee said: "They are intangible factors; you cannot measure them, you cannot report that this year we improved — 10% more polite or 20% more generous or 15% more caring.
"But they are important for making Singapore better and we have to improve year by year to develop these attributes, not through laws or fines but by nurturing these values in everyone so that they are reflected in our lives, in our actions, in our concerns, in what we expect from one another and become part of what it means when we say ’I am a Singaporean’."
And building a better home goes beyond just economic growth.
Mr Lee said the aim is not only about being a wealthy and modern society. Just as important is nurturing a society that is caring.
At the municipal level, Mr Lee said the government has worked to make a better home for Singaporeans.
In Ang Mo Kio, the next round of estate upgrading will involve the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme where shared facilities will be upgraded.
Mr Lee said residents will be consulted on what sort of upgrading works they want.
For the full text and video of Prime Minister Lee’s National Day Message, log on to
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