May Day Rally 2018: PM Lee asks new generation to learn fast and lead the next generation

Singapore PM Lee
Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong Reuters

Reminding the new generation of Singapore on May Day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday at the annual May Day rally, said that they should renew the country's new chapter and create new possibilities and frontiers.

Praising the Pioneer Generation for building the nation from scratch, he said, "It is to renew Singapore to open a new chapter, to create new possibilities and frontiers for our country." They should also hold fast to the values that have made Singapore successful.

"The instinct to plan ahead, the drive to do better, the sense of mission that we are building something special together in Singapore, and the duty of stewardship that we are responsible not just to the present generation, but also to generations to come," Mr Lee said.

As Singapore's economy expanded 3.6% in 2017, far above the estimated 2%, he said there is a "good chance" gross domestic product will exceed 2.5 per cent this year too.

Since Singapore's economy is dependent on external factors, he reminded that the trade conflicts between US and China should be watched carefullly. Unilateral trade tariffs by the US could bring "collateral damage" to Singapore's exports though Singapore is not a party to the conflict, he noted.

"As a small country, Singapore will always be vulnerable to what happens around us. We don't control events. We don't determine what the big countries do," the Prime Minister said.

Domestically, companies should upgrade themselves to meet with changing customer demands and to compete with others, and workers will have to adapt fast to changes. "I know that change is not always easy, and many workers worry about the pace of change. The Government and Labour Movement will walk with you, and support you all the way," Mr Lee said.

Assuring the younger Singaporeans sound education and skills, he said the Labour Movement plays a "critical role" by providing training and upgrading for members through various platforms and nurture their mindset of lifelong learning.

"That is why when the NTUC Central Committee asked me for a political office holder to work on industry transformation and to help MTI coordinate the implementation of the ITMs, I agreed immediately," Mr Lee said.

He hoped that Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon will provide and strengthen the link between the Labour Movement, industry and businesses and Government.