It is now incumbent on all of us, to do our best to make the lives of our people better, not through empty rhetoric, sound bites or mindless giveaways. The challenges of a tiny nation are real and huge. We are not a continental economy like the US or China. We live in a troubled and troubling region. Against all odds, we have done well in the last 50 years when we had so little. We should be able to do even better, now that we have much more. The important thing is to stick to the basics and remember the values of hard work, prudence, self-reliance and meritocracy that have brought us here so far.

Our public policies are founded on such values. They are well-intentioned for the good of Singaporeans, both in the current and future generations. They are not perfect, but they are not bad. We do however need to adjust them from time to time, in keeping with changed circumstances and in the light of experience. For example, against the current environment of rising cost, I see the need to make major policy adjustments to help the low and the middle classes cope better with the higher cost of living. But we must be mindful that we do not mindlessly slip down the welfare route which has now plagued Greece and which threatened the rest of Europe and the world.

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