S'pore leaders post National Day well-wishes, reflections

SINGAPORE - Singapore's leaders took to Facebook to express their well-wishes and reflections as the country marked 50 years of independence on Sunday, Aug 9, with celebrations and commemorations islandwide.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged Singaporeans not to forget the hard work that went into Singapore's success.

"We have come far in 50 years. While we enjoy today's prosperity and progress, never forget how hard we worked to get here. What we have is special and precious, and must never be taken for granted," PM Lee wrote.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam said that Singapore had made remarkable progress in its short history in building a prosperous and harmonious multi-cultureal nation.

As we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, let us reflect on what we have achieved together as one people and continue to give our best to crete a Singapore that is progressive, vibrant and harmonious for many more years to come," he added.

President Tan also hosted heads of states and heads of governments from some of the Republic's key partner nations at the Istana, and wrote on Facebook that "Singapore's growth and development over the years would not have been possible without the support of our friends".

Former Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong commented on his MParader Facebook page that Singapore's achievements were a celebration of the legacy of founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

He added that his SG50 wish was for "Singaporeans to stay positive, embrace the future with confidence and build on the momentum of the last 50 years".

Deputy Prime Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam posted a photograph of the 1968 National Day Parade, and reflected that although none who were growing up in Singapore's early years knew what Singapore would become today, they could feel the growing Singapore spirit.

"It is in all of us today, and makes us who we are. Our multiracial spirit. A spirit of wanting to improve ourselves and our families, and of valuing hard work, no matter what job we do. And a spirit of wanting to help and care for others when they are in need," he wrote, adding that "it is the Singapore spirit that makes this home".

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean struck a different note by thanking the Police, Singapore Armed Forces and public officers working behind the scenes of the Jubilee celebrations.

"Thanks guys for the hard work, so that Singaporeans can have a safe, enjoyable and meaningful Jubilee weekend," Mr Teo wrote.

The celebrations for Singapore's 50th anniversary of independence began with sirens blaring at 9am, and a broadcast of Mr Lee Kuan Yew reading the Proclamation of Independence.