Singapore needs to be clear about what our vital interests are and to stand firm on these interests in a consistent and principled manner, DPM Lawrence Wong said. We must never allow ourselves to be taken in by misinformation.
“When it comes to dealing with external challenges and issues, we must quickly close ranks amongst ourselves and stay united as one people,” said Mr Wong at the opening ceremony of the Refurbished SCCCI Building on 10 September.
“We are very grateful that throughout the pandemic, especially in the darkest moments of the pandemic, we have continued to trust one another, and we have seen the Singapore spirit shining brightly amongst us,” Mr Wong said.
He added that it would be even more critical to ensure that Singapore remains a high-trust society in the coming years.
There are dark clouds and challenges ahead and economic uncertainties.
The golden age of globalisation is over. What is also worrying, Mr Wong said, is the worsening relations between US and China which are already starting to impact investment, trade, and finance around the world.
It is vital for us to maintain trust in one another as Singaporeans because in the geo-political contestation in the Asia-Pacific, Singapore will be pulled in different directions by major powers and continue to come under greater pressure to take sides, DPM Lawrence Wong said.
Trust in one another as Singaporeans are vital because ‘in the end, we are not choosing sides with either power, but we are choosing instead to stand up always for Singapore and Singaporeans, said Mr Wong.
To maintain and nurture the high levels of trust in society, Mr Wong said we must also continue to review and update the way we relate to one another. This includes our expectations of each other, be it government, businesses, employers, or workers, and our respective responsibilities and obligations.
And this is what Forward Singapore seeks to do. It is a national conversation and a national movement to refresh and strengthen our social compact as we chart our new forward together in this new environment. Since the conversations started two months ago, the government has received many useful suggestions.
The conversations continue.