Updated: 02/07/2013 07:16

White Paper is Government's plan to forestall an impending crisis says ESM Goh

White Paper is Government's plan to forestall an impending crisis says ESM Goh

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong says Singapore is at a crossroad where its people and leaders have to make some tough decisions. 

Speaking in Parliament today, Mr Goh said how it responds to these challenges, and how its leaders and people rally together, will determine the future of the Singapore Story. 

This, for him, is what the White Paper is really about. 

Speaking during the debate on the paper, Mr Goh said we should not be fixated on the population figure, even though it's legitimate to ask what the optimal long-term population for Singapore should be. 

He said instead, we should decide if we agree with the broad approach laid out in the White Paper.

Mr Goh said foreign businesses in Singapore are watching the debate and the next steps closely. 

He said their views should be taken seriously and their interests weighed against Singapore's need to restructure the economy and depend less on foreign workers.

He also applauded Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team for their courage and leadership in tabling the paper to sketch out the next chapter of the Singapore Story. 

Mr Goh reminded the House that Singapore exists as part of a dynamic, competitive and constantly changing world. 

He said whether Singapore can continue to attract companies to provide good jobs for Singaporeans, and whether it can continue to shape international developments to its advantage, is contingent on the country remaining vibrant and successful.

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