As Singapore plans for the next generation of leadership, a strong foundation is already being laid to secure the nation’s future. The most salient points, made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech, were on the environment, labour and redevelopment. 

Climate change poses a large risk, especially for an island state such as Singapore that already experiences hotter temperatures and heavier rainstorms.

Besides looking at immediate steps it can take to reduce environmental impact, Singapore also has a visionary outlook to prepare itself for the future.  For example, PM Lee anticipates it will take a $100 billion investment over a century to combat rising sea levels. 

On the labour front, it is heartening to read about progress being made towards expanding the contributions from older workers.

On the labour front, it is heartening to read about progress being made towards expanding the contributions from older workers. In November, the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) announced it would raise the retirement age and re-employment age ceiling for its workers to 63 and 68 respectively from January 1,2021 – earlier than scheduled. 

The goal by 2030 is for the retirement age to be 65 and the re-employment age ceiling to be 70. This means that senior citizens can continue to share their expertise and play an active role in nation building.

Singapore is also recognising the evolving needs of its constituents and is planning to reinvent its Southern coast. 

Stretching from Gardens by the Bay to Pasir Panjang, the new plans will make the most of the island’s coastline to create bustling spaces where people can live, work and play. This will enable Singapore to maintain its status as a hub that can continue to attract talent and industry.

What Singapore has to its advantage is its size. Though small, its size allows it to testbed many initiatives and trial alternatives before making decisions based on evidence.

This is not a luxury other countries have and it is in Singapore’s interest to make the most of it.