As the Year of the Monkey comes to a close, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged Singaporeans to look forward and plan for renewal.
In his annual Chinese New Year message, PM Lee said the emphasis on renewal is especially important this year for families as well as the economy.
"For young couples, renewal means making a serious life decision to start a family and have children," he said.
He added that the Government is continuing to help families do this by expanding pre-school, childcare and infant care places, as well as providing more affordable and good kindergartens.
Waiting times for HDB flats are also being shortened, so that couples can set up home and start families sooner, he said.
"I hope that the New Year brings with it the lusty cries of many more newborn babies," he said.
PM Lee noted the economy picked up towards the end of last year but said Singapore must continue to stay relevant to the world by taking in fresh directions and opening new markets and fields of business.
He added that the Committee on the Future Economy, led by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, will deliver its report soon.
It will set out strategies for growth in the next 10 to 15 years, identify promising industries and sectors, and ensure the future generations have opportunities in the workforce, he said.
PM Lee also said that while economic restructuring is hard work for businesses and workers, Singaporeans should continue to upgrade themselves.
PM Lee ended his message by wishing Singaporeans a happy Chinese New Year.
This article was first published on Jan 27, 2017.
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