Finance Minister Lawrence Wong sought the Labour Movement’s full support in laying the roadmap for Singapore’s next decade and beyond.
In his maiden May Day Rally speech on 1 May 2022 at Downtown East, Mr Wong shared plans to develop a ‘Forward Singapore’ agenda.
“I am sharing this with you today to seek the Labour Movement’s full participation and support for this exercise because the NTUC embodies the aspirations and concerns of all our workers.
“We wouldn’t be here today without the NTUC; and we cannot get to a better place tomorrow without your support. I want to say a very big thank you to all our brothers and sisters in the NTUC and the Labour Movement,” said Mr Wong.
He also said that as Singapore charts a new way forward in a post-pandemic future, the People’s Action Party (PAP) and NTUC, with tripartite partners, need to work together to refresh our social compact.
Mr Wong also touched on how Singapore has gained much from the strong partnership between the PAP and NTUC even before independence.
“They had one common, over-riding aim – to fight to improve the lives of our workers…
“From those early years, we forged our distinctive model of tripartism. Unions partnered the Government and employers, and the tripartite partners became co-drivers of Singapore’s development,” he said.
Mr Wong said that we directly benefited from tripartism, as well as progressive social and economic policies.
Likewise, Mr Wong and his 4G team want to ensure the same for the next generation.
“We want those who come after us to also benefit from inclusion, from opportunities, from many more expanded pathways to success and fulfilment,” said Mr Wong.
Singapore is facing many headwinds in the future, which cause anxieties and strains, acknowledged Mr Wong. These challenges are not unique to Singapore.
Many societies have become polarised and divided, but Mr Wong said he is confident about Singapore’s future because of what we have been through these last two years.
“The lesson should be clear to all of us: we will achieve more when we stand together as one united people,” he said.
Working towards the year 2040, an intermediate milestone towards SG100, Mr Wong pledged that he and his comrades in the 4G team will do whatever it takes to “strengthen the PAP-NTUC symbiotic relationship and our tripartite partnership and to keep Singapore special and build a better Singapore in SG75.”
Mr Wong said that the exercise to refresh our social compact and chart the way forward will be formally launched soon, and that it will be a major undertaking of the 4G team.
“We will engage stakeholders from every sphere – unions, the people and private sectors.
“We will seek to hear your thoughts on the economy, healthcare, housing, education, and many other areas,” he said.
He also stressed that this is not just about what the Government can do for you, but also what we can all do for one another.
Mr Wong ended by saying that there is no ready blueprint for the Singapore of tomorrow.
“If you ask me, I would like to see a fairer, greener, and more inclusive Singapore that we will always be proud to call home…
“Going from this ideal to reality will require more than my own personal hopes, it’s about what we can and must do as a people together,” said Mr Wong.