4G team to develop 'Forward Singapore' agenda, setting out roadmap for next decade and beyond: Lawrence Wong


Nonetheless, there are “many things to worry about” as we look ahead, noted Mr Wong. 

“The pandemic is not over, and there are significant economic challenges ahead of us. Rapid digitalisation and automation are disrupting our industries. Straining US-China relations can bring about a more fractured and bifurcated world order,” he said.

“Domestically, too, we must wrestle with other issues, including a rapidly ageing population and a more diverse society.”

While these challenges are “not unique to Singapore”, there are “similar headwinds across much of the developed world”, creating anxieties and strains, added Mr Wong. 

“In many places, people respond with an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality. Anger is directed at the “others”, and the others could be foreigners; they could be people of different ethnicity or of different background. And then politicians seek to exploit the grievances of various groups to sow discord and to make others look bad,” he said. 

“As a result, as we can all see, many of these societies have become insular, polarised, and divided.”

Mr Wong acknowledged that it was natural that people worry about Singapore’s future, comparing the country to large economies like the US and the European Union which are also struggling to solve these problems. 

“Of course, no one can guarantee that Singapore will do well in this more uncertain and volatile future. But what gives me confidence is what we have been through these last two years,” he said. 

“We lack the resources of larger countries, and had to import vaccines, food, energy and many other essential supplies. But we were able to adapt and adjust quickly as we learnt more about the virus, and how to protect lives and livelihoods. And above all, throughout this period, we kept faith with one another and maintained our solidarity and trust in each other.”

As such, Singapore “attained good outcomes” during the pandemic, added Mr Wong. 

“We’ve kept COVID-19 deaths at one of the lowest rates in the world, and we’ve enabled employment and incomes to recover quickly to pre-COVID levels. So the lesson should be clear to all of us: We will achieve more when we stand together as one united people.”


In a dialogue Mr Wong attended that was organised by the SG100 Foundation, he said he was especially encouraged by the “grit and resilience” demonstrated by the young people. 

As SG100 is “a long time away”, he suggested taking SG75 as an “intermediate milestone”. 

“By 2040, I will be close to 70 years old. As I said before, I don’t know if the PAP will win the next General Election, let alone if it will still be in office in 2040. But I give you my word, whatever lies ahead, I will give every ounce of my strength to this movement, together with my comrades in the 4G team,” he said.

“We will do whatever it takes to strengthen the PAP-NTUC symbiotic relationship and our tripartite partnership, to keep Singapore special, and build a better Singapore in SG75.”

While there is “no ready blueprint for the Singapore of tomorrow”, Mr Wong shared that he would like to see “a fairer, greener, and more inclusive Singapore that we will always be proud to call home”. 

“A home where everyone is accepted and valued, and treated equally and with respect, no matter their background or station in life. A home where everyone can live with dignity, and flourish in their own way, and at their own pace, regardless of their starting points,” he said. 

“Going from ideal to reality will require more than my own personal hopes. It’s about what we can and must do as a people together.”


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