PM Lee unveils six-point PAP manifesto

PM Lee Hsien Loong launched the PAP's manifesto on Sunday, ahead of the General Election. (AFP photo)
PM Lee Hsien Loong launched the PAP's manifesto on Sunday, ahead of the General Election. (AFP photo)

The People's Action Party (PAP) has an "ambitious vision for Singapore", said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday as he launched the ruling party's manifesto.

The wide-ranging manifesto, titled Securing our Future Together, spells out the party's vision and programmes for the Republic over the next five years.

Its six key objectives:

  • Create opportunities for higher incomes

  • Improve the lives of lower-income Singaporeans

  • Bring out the best in every child

  • Develop a vibrant city and an endearing home

  • Help the elderly stay active, healthy and engaged

  • Involve all Singaporeans in shaping the future.

Speaking at the Young PAP's 25th Anniversary Rally held at the NTUC auditorium, PM Lee, who is also the party's secretary-general, outlined how the party plans to achieve its aim of "a better life for all Singaporeans".

It added that Singaporeans can count on the Party to do the best for the people from all walks of life, and to keep the people united through good and bad times.

Even as he acknowledged that the past five years have not been "without challenges", citing issues such as the rising cost of living, foreign workers and immigration, he said, the vast majority of Singaporeans have seen their lives improve during that time.

"We can honestly report that the PAP has lived up to its responsibilities to the people."

Looking forward, the PAP government is, for instance, investing S$2.5 billion on continuing education and training and helping companies expand and compete overseas as part of its move to grow a "dynamic and diversified economy".

It has also enhanced the Workfare scheme and provided larger bursaries and grants to children of the lower-income Singaporeans.

It will also upgrade schools across the island, lower the student-teacher ratio, and provide more support for children with learning difficulties and special needs.

To ensure seniors remain healthy and engaged, there are new hospitals being built in Jurong and Sengkang and long-term care services are being brought closer to the home.

Programmes to refresh estates, double the MRT network by 2017 and build a gracious, liveable city all go toward developing a"vibrant city and endearing home".

Singaporeans are also encouraged to contribute ideas and feedback, while the government seeks to strengthen the "Singapore Spirit".

Singapore's prospects look promising but there are "dark clouds on the horizon", he added.

He pointed to revolution in the Middle East pushing up energy prices, the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan potentially impacting Singapore's economy and Europe's debt problem.

He urged Singaporeans to "take no chances", maintain reserves for rainy days and to have a "capable government in charge".

Call to support leadership renewal

"Beyond specific programmes, we also need the people's support for one master programme -- leadership renewal,"said PM Lee.

The current Ministers have each had about 20 years of experience and preparation and are able to continue for another 10 years, he said. But there is a need to renew and deepen the leadership now, to ensure the Republic can continue to thrive and prosper, he added.

Introducing each new PAP candidate, PM Lee stressed again that these 24 candidates will produce the next leadership team for Singapore. They need to be ready within two terms, by around 2020, he said.

Pointing to the "exceptional effort" the party took to gather the new slate of candidates, the Prime Minister said at least five have the potential to be Ministers, while half could, over time, "become more than backbenchers".

There is enough talent to form a new leadership team for Singapore, including the core of the new leadership, said PM Lee.

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