E.1. Madam Speaker, let me conclude.
E.2. I started today by recalling the first Budget of the independent Republic of Singapore.
a. Eight days after that first Budget was presented, our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that we must keep Singapore here a thousand years from now. And he said, “That is your job and mine.”
b. A thousand years from now. Singapore was only 135 days old when he said that. But he had that faith.
c. And more importantly, an indomitable will: For it is your job and mine, he said, to make sure we survive. If Singapore is to have a future, we have to work hard at it – together.
E.3. It is poignant to recall these words one year and one day after Mr Lee’s passing. He attended almost every Budget Day since 1959. Each of us has only so many years on this earth to do our best for one another and for our country. How do we make these years count? Together, we can make our time count. We can dream, plan, and build for a thousand years. We must try.
E.4. Budget 2016 is the first step of the next lap in what we hope will be a long, successful journey.
a. For our economy, we will tackle immediate pressures head-on. We will also set our sights on the long term, position ourselves to stand out.
b. We will transform our economy through the Industry Transformation Programme, emphasising enterprise and innovation. This marks a new phase in our economic restructuring. Through targeted efforts and close partnerships, we must drive scale and create value. We will build resilience in workers, enterprises and industries so they can weather changes and emerge stronger.
c. The Committee on the Future Economy will dive deep into what we must do to get our economy ready for the future.
d. And we will build a caring and resilient society. Silver Support is a major new step to help seniors with lesser means. The Community Networks for Seniors will forge a new way to care for our seniors. First Step, KidSTART, the Fresh Start Programme, OBS@Coney – these are our investment in our young.
e. We will find new ways of encouraging people and companies to come forward to help the vulnerable. We will find new ways of collaboration and social innovation. We will not leave any Singaporean behind.
E.5. Just like our pioneers had no textbooks to show them how Singapore could thrive in its first 50 years, we have no instruction manual for our future. What we have are our shared values, our common vision, a sense of duty, and the conviction that we are one people.
a. Together, we must harness the creativity and energy of every one of us to transform our economy and strengthen our society.
b. Together, we must be prepared to change. We can’t always know the future, and we won’t always have ready answers. But we must have the imagination to forge new paths, the courage to try new ways, and the tenacity to persevere if we don’t succeed on the first try.
c. As long as we stand by our values, keep faith with one another, think long-term, dare to try and be open to change, we will move in the right direction.
E.6. When the new Cabinet was sworn in last year, the Prime Minister said, “The Singapore Story belongs to all of us. If we have faith that Singapore will endure and thrive, and put our heart and soul into building Singapore, then we will prevail, and secure our place in history.”
E.7. That is your duty and mine. The Singapore Story belongs to all of us. There are many chapters yet to be written in that story. Let us put our heart and soul to write our story – together, in partnership.
E.8. Madam Speaker, I beg to move.
Last updated on 24 Mar 2016