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PM Lee Hsien Loong: Singapore Must Continue to Distinguish Itself in the Year of the Rabbit

PM Lee says that Singapore needs to continue building on efforts as it moves forward.
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21 Jan 2023
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Singapore has done well in handling COVID-19 in the last few years, and is likely to avoid a recession in 2023. Still, the nation has to continue distinguishing itself with its efforts as dark clouds continue to loom over the economy.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared his thoughts on this year’s outlook at a Lunar New Year visit to appreciate public transport workers.

The visit, held on Lunar New Year’s Eve on 21 January 2023 at the Woodlands Transport Integrated Hub (WITH), was organised by NTUC and the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU).

“In previous years, we had celebrations and visits, but we had many constraints. So this year, we are back to normal. It’s been a journey which we’ve all travelled together and safely. This is a great relief. We have to build on this to move forward.

“Because if we look around the world, there are so many dark clouds outside and around us, and we need to distinguish ourselves and make the most of our advantages to keep ourselves safe and doing well. In this Year of the Rabbit, we have every confidence that we are able to do that,” he said.

Mr Lee also said that he hopes all Singaporeans have a good and healthy year as “we deal with COVID-19 in our stride, without it obsessing our thoughts.”

He added: “And we will make progress with our lives, with our growth, with our futures, and watch our children grow.”

Lunar New Year Visit

This year’s Lunar New Year’s Eve visit saw Mr Lee meet about 100 public transport workers, including SMRT bus captains and administrative staff.

He was accompanied by NTUC President Mary Liew, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Melvin Yong and NTWU leaders.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat, Land Transport Authority Chief Executive Ng Lang, and SMRT Corporation management representatives also joined the visit.

The visit saw workers at WITH receive gift bags as a gesture of appreciation towards their continued essential service to the nation during the Lunar New Year period.

Items in the gift bag included red packets, mandarin oranges, a carrier pouch, chips, and disposable face masks.

On the feedback he received from transport workers, Mr Lee said: “They are working day in, day out and even during Lunar New Year, they will be here serving the residents.

“I asked them how are things, and they said, ‘Well, the 950 service going across to Johor is very, very full.' But the other services also are too because people are shopping, travelling. So I think that’s good, and the transport workers’ moods are also lightened when they see the community smiling.”

Read More: The Labour Movement Ushers in the Lunar New Year with Public Transport Workers.