Rally focus: Assuring S'poreans

Rally focus: Assuring S'poreans
PM Lee putting a plastic flower to complete an image of the Singapore flag at the Teck Ghee National Day celebration dinner last night.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night shared more details about the main thrust of his National Day Rally speech on Aug 17, and said it will be on plans by the Government to give Singaporeans assurance and peace of mind.

The speech, he said, will touch on ensuring citizens have enough in their old age, creating more opportunities to allow them to pursue their dreams, improving the living environment and building a "better and brighter future".

"You don't have to worry about very difficult things in life, such as medical care," said Mr Lee. "But you can have the assurance in order to reach for the stars to work to improve your lives."

Retirement adequacy has been in the focus of late with the Central Provident Fund (CPF) the topic of debate and the new MediShield Life scheme set to be introduced.

Earlier this year when Parliament was re-opened after a break, PM Lee had said that there would be more details on CPF changes during his National Day Rally speech.

The rally, which will be held at the Institute of Technical Education College Central, is an annual address for the Prime Minister to give an update on the country's progress.

Mr Lee last night gave his speech in Malay, Mandarin and English at an early National Day dinner with a boisterous crowd of 2,500 residents from his Teck Ghee ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC.

Among them were 500 seniors from the pioneer generation, who are citizens 65 and older this year.

On Friday, he had given out the first 100 of about 450,000 pioneer generation cards, expected to reach all pioneers by the end of the month.

"This is something we are doing for all the pioneers in Singapore. It is our gesture to you, and thank you very much for all your contributions to Singapore," he said.

He invited pioneers in the dinner crowd to get to their feet, to applause.

Pioneers - who have shaped the nation from its infancy - have taught Singaporeans the importance of looking out for each other, he said.

Within his ward itself, he pointed out, "we do all we can to take care of one another".

The Teck Ghee Active Ageing Club has more than 4,000 members, and youths actively lend a helping hand, visiting the elderly and underprivileged.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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