Singapore National Day Rally 2012
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his National Day Rally speech in Mandarin on Sunday, said Singapore will need to seize opportunities and reinvent itself to progress in the next 20 years. Singapore’s situation is similar to other East Asian economies — like Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea — whose era of rapid growth is over.
Singapore, like the others, is in search of new strategies and formulas. While many of the East Asian economies are anxious about their future, Mr Lee said Singapore is better off than many others.
Mr Lee said people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have sent study groups to look at Singapore’s social and economic policies. But as Singapore evolves, Chinese Singaporeans should not neglect their culture. The prime minister said he supported recent proposals to set up a Chinese Cultural Centre and a Singaporean Hokkien Huay Kuan Cultural Academy.
Mr Lee said: “Our Chinese community has always been concerned about the preservation and promotion of culture and tradition.
“Chinese culture is an important pillar of Singapore culture. It is an emotional anchor and moral compass for many Singaporeans. We should preserve our cultural roots, lest we lose ourselves in this ever-changing world.” Mr Lee said traditions and culture help strengthen the sense of identity, and the Chinese language here has local characteristics.
He said: “Recently, a National Day documentary shown on our local TV channel had some translation errors. For example, National Servicemen was translated as “national soldiers”, and HDB flats became “national housing”.
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