Government to help Singaporeans fulfil potential: DPM Heng
PUBLISHED ON 20 Jun 2019
The Government will enable Singaporeans to fulfil their potential regardless of their backgrounds.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat mentioned this as one of the three principles of governance in Singapore which have worked well for the country, in a keynote address at a conference organised by NTU’s Nanyang Centre for Public Administration and the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) on 19 June 2019.
Mr Heng, who is also the Finance Minister, told more than 550 participants at the conference that the other two key principles are bridging diversity and planning with future generations in mind.
"Good governance has enabled a small island nation without any natural resources, that depended solely on its people, to succeed," he said, adding that Singaporeans can do better by learning from one another.
Mr Heng said good governance also draws strength from diversity and “experiment with possible solutions and finding common ground” to overcome challenges. However, he noted that diversity can cause division and Singapore's approach is "to integrate, rather than assimilate, our people".

Touching on Singapore's long-term plans, Mr Heng reiterated that over-reliance on reserves will hurt Singapore’s ability to respond to changing circumstances in the future, especially given its lack of natural resources. Therefore, there is a need for the Government to raise the goods and service tax, as announced in 2018, from 7 per cent to 9 per cent sometime between 2021 and 2025.     

"Each generation strives to pay for its own spending through sustainable means, instead of drawing more than is prudent from the reserves or passing on the cost of current spending to future generations," he emphasised.