Singapore is still a sampan, but an upgraded one, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He was responding to a newspaper article that said Singapore should abandon an old metaphor likening the country to a sampan, and see itself as a cruise ship instead.
"Once you think you're on a cruise ship, you're on a holiday and everything must go swimmingly well and will be attended to for you, I think we're in trouble!" Channel NewsAsia quoted him as telling reporters in France.
"We're small, we're not as poor as we used to be, we're not defenceless, we're able to fend for ourselves, make a living for ourselves and we're better off than before. We think we need to keep on working hard to continue improving."
Asked to categorise the sort of ship Singapore is, Mr Lee said: "I think we've upgraded our sampan. Sampan 2.0."
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