SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered Singapore's National Day Rally 2022 on Sunday (21 August).
The most important political speech in Singapore each year outlined the country’s broad agenda and near-term objectives, and was held at the Institute of Technical Education headquarters at Ang Mo Kio.
Lee spoke in Malay, Mandarin, and English, addressing a wide range of topics from the COVID-19 situation to domestic issues like the law which criminalises sex between men, Section 377A.
Reactions to National Day Rally 2022
Key points from the National Day Rally 2022:
Among Lee's major announcements during the rally was that Singapore would repeal Section 377A, a topic which had been hotly debated in the lead up to his speech.
He had been widely expected to address Section 377A of the Penal Code at the rally following recent comments by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on the controversial law, according to political observers.
Lee also spoke about the issue of foreign interference in Singapore’s affairs in his National Day Rally speech delivered in the Chinese and English languages, as well as how external situations such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict and US-China tensions could affect Singapore.
During his National Day Message on 8 August, Lee spoke at length about geopolitical instability amidst worsening US-China relations and economic challenges.
He also addressed Singapore's COVID situation, announcing that the country would soon move to drop all its mask requirements, except on public transport and in healthcare settings.
COVID on the agenda
Lee previously revealed a 27-second trailer in a post on his Facebook page, giving a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes preparations for his speech at the ITE College Central.
"When I first spoke here in 2013, I said the venue underscored my commitment to investing in everyone in this country, and emphasised that Singapore was at a turning point. Today, this is truer than ever," he wrote in his caption along with the post on Friday.
In the video, Lee noted that this marks the first year where he could do the rally speech at full-scale, since the onset of the pandemic.
In 2021, he had delivered the National Day Rally from a studio owned by national broadcaster's Mediacorp, while in 2020, the rally was called off – for the first time since 1966 – due to COVID-19 safe distancing measures.
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