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SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he is determined to see through the current COVID-19 pandemic, and hand over Singapore intact and in good working order to the next government team.
During a lunchtime e-rally by the ruling People’s Action Party on Monday (6 July) ahead of the General Election, Lee underlined his “deep personal responsibility” to make Singapore succeed amid the coronavirus crisis.
“You have my word: Together with my older colleagues like Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, as well as the 4G ministers, I will see this through. I am determined to hand over Singapore, intact and in good working order, to the next team,” he said.
“I have spent all my adult life serving my country, because I believe in Singapore. That is why I took a scholarship to serve in the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces). That is why when ESM (Emeritus Senior Minister) Goh Chok Tong asked me to enter politics, I agreed.
“All my life, I have felt a deep personal responsibility to do my part to keep Singapore safe, and to make it succeed.”
Strongest possible PAP team fielded
PM Lee said that, more than ever, Singapore needs a capable government at this critical moment, with the full support of a united people.
He said that he has worked hard to field the strongest possible PAP team for this GE. The team includes capable ministers as well as seasoned and energetic Members of Parliament.
It is also refreshed and reinforced with a younger generation of promising leaders from all walks of life. “They will bring new ideas and perspectives on tackling the challenges ahead,” he said.
“I hope younger and first-time voters will identify with them, and see them as candidates who will represent their views and advance their interests.
“My duty as PM is not just to take good care of Singapore during my time in office. It is also to prepare new generations of leaders who can take over from me and my older colleagues, and lead Singapore into a different future.”
The PAP lunchtime e-rally was a throwback to its traditional lunchtime rallies in the downtown Fullerton area during past GEs.
PM Lee said that this e-rally was his seventh Fullerton Rally since he entered politics in 1984, and he drew parallels with his first one 36 years ago.
“That was a watershed election. The PAP fielded 26 new candidates, and its self-renewal took off,” he said. “Today, I am the only one left from the class of 1984. But the party now has many younger cohorts of leaders, to take the country forward.”
Full support of Singaporeans needed to take country forward
For the current cohort of PAP leaders to take the country forward, PM Lee believes they need the full support of Singaporeans.
While he said that he did not expect to meet the “overwhelming” COVID-19 crisis in the last stretch of his premiership, he counts himself fortunate to have been elected by Singaporeans, and chosen by fellow ministers and MPs, to lead Singapore through this critical time.
“COVID-19 is the crisis of a generation. It is more complex and more dangerous than any previous crisis. Again, there can be no certainty that things will turn out well,” he said.
“To get through this crisis, I need your help. I cannot do it alone; I need the strongest team we can find, to work with me, and with you. I also need full support from all of you.
“If we all work together and build well, generation after generation, then another 36 years from now, the Fullerton rally will be held in a vastly transformed Singapore. And future Singaporeans – today’s young ones – can be proud of what they have built.”
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