Singaporeans should be more aware of the world around them: PM Lee

PM Lee urges Singaporeans to be more aware of the the world around them. (AFP file photo)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged Singaporeans to be more aware of the world around them.

He was responding to a question from the public on whether there is an attitude of Singaporeans that he would want to change on “Ask The Prime Minister”, a ‘live’ TV forum on Channel NewsAsia, on Tuesday evening.

PM Lee said Singaporeans are often “very preoccupied with our own problems”.

Thus, he encouraged them to know what's happening in the world around them.

To illustrate this point, PM Lee cited an example of how the Nairobi mall attack in Kenya didn’t make it to the frontpage of all the newspapers in Singapore, which he said were focusing on a recent collapse of a part of the first-floor ceiling in Jem mall in Jurong East for several days in a row.

He added that what's happening in the world impacts Singapore in a huge way, citing how the Nairobi attack was later linked to Western terrorists.

Stay resilient

Further elaborating his point, PM Lee also discussed the concept of work-life balance which he said has become a “tag-phrase” and “meme”  among Singaporeans.

PM Lee said Singaporeans don’t quite understand the trade-offs of work-life balance.

He explained that Singaporeans might want to "have a bit more free time" and "a bit less stress and pressure in life".

However, there are countries like China, Vietnam and India which are “hungry” and “anxious” to “steal” the lunch from Singapore, he added.

Earlier on, PM Lee also said he wants Singaporeans to not depend on the government to solve all problems.

While he agreed that the government has to be on top of the game, think ahead and solve problems, when issues come up, he wants Singaporeans to think of what they can do.

PM Lee also encouraged Singaporeans to look after themselves and not to be just reliant on handouts.

This, he believes, is a more resilient and sturdy approach.

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