Here’s a quick look at the key developments to come:
US-China relations and the implications for Singapore
Singapore considers both the United States and China good friends and intends to maintain this relationship. The US is a major security and economic partner and preserving the relationship is important for peace and stability in the region.
China is one of Singapore’s largest export markets and the Singapore Government has worked on many projects in Suzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing with the Chinese Government. Chinese companies also have sizeable investments in Singapore and vice versa.
Singapore must therefore “always be principled in our approach and not be swayed by emotions”. Our small but open economy has benefitted much from globalisation and we must be prepared to adapt to any change in US-China relations.
Preparing Singapore for Climate Change
Addressing climate change will be an integral consideration when renewing our city for the future.
“We need to understand, mitigate and adapt to climate change.”
Understand climate change
Singapore will be better prepared to face the challenges of the future with a better understanding of climate change. To do this, the Centre for Climate Research, or CCRS, has been set up to study, in detail, how climate change affects Singapore and the region.
Mitigate climate change
More can be done as individuals to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, “like remembering to switch off the lights, reducing waste and reusing and recycling more”.
Adapt to climate change
Policies are already in place to build new developments on higher platforms, at least four metres above sea level. This will ensure that even if sea levels rise, critical buildings and infrastructure will not experience flooding.
Other solutions are also in the works, such as building another Pump House at Marina Barrage and adopting the concept of “polders” to protect low-lying areas with reclaimed land.
Developing the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW)
The GSW refers to the 30 kilometre stretch of Singapore’s southern coastline, from Gardens by the Bay to Pasir Panjang, which spans a land area “the size of two Punggols”.
The aim is to free up prime land for re-development so that it can be “a new place to live, work and play.”
From Jewel Changi Airport to Greater Southern Waterfront, here's the story of Singapore's transformation, told through PM Lee Hsien Loong's #ndrsg.
What can Singaporeans look forward to?
Live – More housing options
The land freed up from the closure of the Keppel Club golf course will be large enough to fit about 9,000 housing units, or “HDB and private housing with waterfront promenades, with greenery, and open spaces”.
Work – A new office district
Living close to Mapletree Business City, where the offices of major corporations like Google, Cisco and Unilever are located, is an additional draw. The GSW will offer “more office space” so that “people can work near where they live and live near where they work”.
Play – More entertainment possibilities
By 2027, all the container terminals in the city will have moved their operations to Tuas. This will enable the development of both Pulau Brani and Sentosa offering “many possibilities for fun and recreation” to everyone young and old.
Good and affordable education for all Singaporeans
To ensure that all families can afford early childhood education for their children, the government will invest more over the next few years. The household income ceiling for means-tested subsidies will be raised from $7,500 to $12,000 a month, thereby benefiting 30,000 more families. The value of subsidies will also increase across the board.
Currently, slightly more than 50 per cent of pre-school places are government supported and this will be raised to 80 per cent.
In 2020, the government will lower the annual fees for the full-time general degree programmes of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences from around $8,000 to $7,500.
Government bursaries for lower-income students in all university courses will be significantly enhanced, from 50 to 75 per cent. Lower-income medical and dentistry students will enjoy higher bursaries, ensuring they pay no more than $5,000 per year in fees.
“There will be space for successive generations to fill with their hopes and dreams. Each new generation will leave their mark on our city, as their predecessors have done.”
Missed out on PM Lee’s National Day Rally 2019? You can watch it here:
"My fellow Singaporeans, good evening. This year, we commemorate our Bicentennial, two hundred years of Singapore's modern history. We began in January at the Singapore River. Since then, many community groups, businesses, schools and even individuals have marked the Bicentennial in their own ways, and reflected on their own histories."