Prime Minister Lawrence Wong highlights past advancements, current challenges, and future strategies for Singapore at the Institute of Policy Studies-Varsity Voices Dialogue.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong spoke to students and distinguished guests at the Institute of Policy Studies-Varsity Voices Dialogue held at the Singapore Management University. In his speech, Wong reflected on Singapore’s evolution over the past three decades, outlined current global challenges, and shared his vision for the nation’s future.

Wong reminisced about life in the early 1990s, noting significant technological and societal changes since then. He highlighted the advancements in Singapore’s public transport system, recreational options, and overall quality of life. “Our lives have gotten better in Singapore. Our living environment has improved significantly… Our economy is stronger, more diversified, and there are many more opportunities,” Wong said.

Addressing the future, Wong emphasized the unpredictability of the next 20-30 years but expressed confidence in Singapore’s ability to adapt. He identified global fragmentation, climate change, and rapid technological advancements as major challenges. Wong particularly noted the potential of AI to revolutionize various aspects of life, comparing its impact to that of the internet in the 1990s.

To navigate these challenges, Wong outlined three key strategies: refreshing the social compact, providing more opportunities for Singaporeans, and fostering a better society. He emphasized the government’s role in assuring affordable housing, quality healthcare, and diverse educational opportunities. Wong also highlighted the importance of individual responsibility, particularly in healthcare and skills development.

Wong encouraged students to pursue their diverse aspirations and embrace continuous learning. He underscored the importance of resilience, sharing the story of Dr. Katalin Kariko, whose perseverance in mRNA research ultimately led to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines.

Finally, Wong called for a united effort to build an inclusive society. He praised the spirit of volunteerism during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent oil spill cleanups, urging more citizen participation in shaping Singapore’s future.

“All of you are the authors of the next chapter of our Singapore Story. I am confident that our best days are ahead of us,” Wong concluded.

Source – PMO