LIVE: National Day Rally 2019 – Things That REALLY Matter To Singaporeans
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong just delivered his National Day Rally 2019 speech where he shared some of the Singapore government’s policies, priorities, and initiatives moving ahead.
Click to jump to the topics covered during the rally:
On Economic Performance
- Impact of US-China tensions – The United States should seek constructive bilateral relations with China, including on economic matters.
- Two ways they impact Singapore:
- Foreign Relations with both U.S and China
- Our economy
- Slump in Electronics has impacted overall economic performance
- Retail continues to be under pressure from online shopping
- Retrenchment and unemployment rates remain low
- Singapore has important strengths that attract investors – Finnish oil company Neste is investing >$2 billion to expand renewable energy plant here, which will create high-quality jobs for Singapore.
- Doubled full-day pre-school capacity, to almost 180,000 places (since 2012) – Upgraded pre-schools, setting up of MOE Kindergartens, giving pre-school teachers better training and career progression.
- Continue to make pre-school more affordable – Raised income ceiling for subsidies from $7,500 to $12,000, to benefit 30,000 more households
- MOE to lower annual fees for the FT degree programmes in SIT and SUSS – Reduced from around $8,000 to $7,500.
- Govt bursaries for university students – to be raised from up to 50% of general degree fees to up to 75%
- Polytechnic diploma programmes bursaries – Bursary coverage to increase from up to 80% to up to 95 per cent.
- 6 in 10 students in polys and unis are eligible for government bursaries
- Enhancements will benefit many students from middle-income families too. ITE, Nafa and Lasalle included
- Higher govt bursaries for medical school – Medical school fees are almost $29,000/year at NUS and $35,000/year at NTU. Lower-income students will now pay at most $5,000 a year
- Unis, polys and ITE encouraged to set up more bursaries of their own in people’s names
- Government to match donations: up to 3 times for the newer universities, and up to 1.5 times for the rest
On The Workforce
- Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers – The Workgroup made 4 key recommendations:
- To raise the retirement age from 62 today to 65
- To raise the re-employment age from 67 to 70
- To increase CPF contributions for older workers
- To achieve all this in gradual steps, by about 2030
- Retirement age to be raised from 62 to 63 in 2022, and to 65 by 2030
- Re-employment age to go up from 67 to 68 in 2022, and to 70 by 2030
- The retirement age will go up from 62 to 63 in 2022, and eventually to 65 by 2030.
- The re-employment age will go up from 67 to 68, also in 2022, and eventually to 70, also by 2030.
- Public Service to raise retirement and re-employment ages, one year earlier in 2021
On Central Provident Fund (CPF)
- No changes to CPF withdrawal policies or withdrawal ages
On Climate Change
- Understand, mitigate and adapt to climate change – Cooperating with neighbouring countries to study climate change in the region
- Singapore, situated nearer the equator, is more vulnerable to climate change than the global model suggests
- Singapore has joined the Paris Climate Agreement and will slow and ultimately cap emissions by around 2030, and introduced a carbon tax last year
- Coastal defences will cost $100b over 50 to 100 years
- City area: Second pump house on the opposite end of the current Marina Barrage
- Eastern coastline: Building polders and dykes to keep land dry and reclaim new land to use for housing and other purposes
- The Greater Southern Waterfront – Long-term plans to remake and take full advantage of the coastline. Pulau Brani to be redeveloped
- 29,000 housing units to be built at current Keppel Club site – Includes plans to increase office space in the G.S.W. Big firms like Google, Cisco and Unilever already have offices near Labrador Park