PM says thanks to Singaporeans as he marks 10th year in office

PM says thanks to Singaporeans as he marks 10th year in office

AS HE celebrated 10 years in office yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Singaporeans who have engaged him, saying their views and insights showed him what he was doing right and where he needed to do better.

He was sworn in as Prime Minister 10 years ago on Aug 12, 2004, after 20 years in politics.

"I learn much from the people I meet, those who write to me, and those following me on social media.

Your views and insights have shown me what we are doing well, and where we need to do better," wrote Mr Lee, 62, on Facebook.

"Your support and engagement means a lot to me," said Mr Lee, adding that he was grateful for the chance to serve the country.

He also thanked volunteers, grassroots leaders and supporters for giving their time and energy generously: "You make it much easier for me and the Government to do things for Singaporeans."

He promised to continue to do his best for Singapore.

Mr Lee also thanked Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who was his immediate predecessor and Singapore's second prime minister.

"(Mr Goh) handed over to me a ship in good shape, and has continued to help me guide it safely, through fair winds and stormy seas," said Mr Lee.

He has had an eventful decade at the helm, with Singapore experiencing a difficult recession during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and greater political contestation at the polls.

Under Mr Lee's charge, a wide range of social policies was rolled out, such as the ComCare Fund to assist needy families financially, the Workfare Bonus to top up the pay of lower-wage workers and the $8 billion Pioneer Generation Package to help pioneers with health-care bills.

Mr Goh himself had earlier yesterday taken to social media to wish Mr Lee well, and to congratulate him for "steering Singapore through choppy waters".

Added Mr Goh: "But the tougher stretch lies ahead. Keep your eyes on the sea of challenges. And harbour the interests of all on board in your heart.

"You have a tough job. We don't envy you. But we are behind you. All the best, mate."

Over 12,000 netizens "liked" Mr Lee's Facebook post, and hundreds also thanked him for his contributions to Singapore.

This article was first published on August 13, 2014.
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