SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singaporeans think their government is "not poor" and as such, expect the government to do more for them.
He said this in a wide—ranging interview with "The Australian" newspaper, ahead of his second official visit to Australia next week.
Mr Lee was asked if there were any lessons Singapore could learn from the Western world, which is suffering from a crisis of entitlement spending.
Mr Lee said Singaporeans are not poor, but feel less well—off relative to others in society and that there is a relative sense that they should get an entitlement.
Mr Lee said from giving very minimal welfare, Singapore has gone on the basis of growth, high employment and low unemployment.
He said Singaporeans will get help, but the help is not something they are absolutely entitled to.
Using Europe as an example, Mr Lee said besides entitlement spending, the idea of state welfare is also entrenched among the Europeans.
He said Singapore needs to adjust accordingly "without going overboard".
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