SINGAPORE - SINGAPOREANS need to know what is going on in the rest of the world so they will be psychologically ready to deal with changes and challenges that come their way, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
He cited media coverage as a reflection of how people are more clued in to local events such as a collapsed ceiling at a Jurong East shopping centre than a terrorist attack in Kenya that killed more than 60 people and involved some Western terrorists.
"Ceilings are important but I think we need to look out to the rest of the world because they impact our lives in a huge way," PM Lee said at a television forum on Tuesday.
"We need to have that external orientation, that openness to track what's happening and to adjust and to be psychologically ready to deal with things as they happen. And before they happen," he added.
Mr Lee was asked during the televised forum what attitude of Singaporeans he would like changed. He picked two: their preoccupation with their own lives and their tendency to look to the Government to solve problems.
He said: "The Government has to be on top of the game and be thinking ahead, solving problems.
"But when issues come up, we really would like people to take the attitude: 'What can I do about it? What can we do together about it? How can we solve this problem and do something and make a difference in our own lives?'
"I think that's a more resilient, more sturdy approach which will see us through the long term."
The new generation has acquired new skills, he said, but would need the strengths, values and instincts of an older generation to deal with longstanding constraints.
"We're still a small country. We're still in South-east Asia. It's still a dangerous world and you still must learn about human beings and how to make your way through life," he said.
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