On 9 August 1965, Singapore became an independent and sovereign nation. Suddenly, we were on our own, with no natural resources to exploit, no hinterland to fall back upon, and no army to defend ourselves. But we were determined to survive, and started building a nation from scratch. We worked hard to improve our lives, and create a future for our children.

Today, we have every reason to rejoice. In 40 years, we have succeeded beyond all expectations.

a. Our economy has developed and prospered. After each downturn we have bounced back, to create more jobs and a better life for all.

b. Our society is harmonious and cohesive. We have built mutual trust between different communities, and drawn all Singaporeans closer to one another.

c. We are attracting investments and talent from around the world, to live in a safe, clean, and dynamic city.

d. The SAF and our Home Team are strong and tested. Because of them, we can sleep peacefully at night.

e. We are deepening our sense of shared destiny, and maturing as a nation.

Despite many years of peace, we must remain vigilant against threats to our security. The bombings in London and in Egypt remind us that the war on terror continues, and despite the tightest precautions, the terrorists sometimes get through. We must be psychologically prepared for this, so that if they ever strike here we will be resolute and indomitable, refusing to be cowed by the terrorists and staying one united people.

This year, our economy continues to grow steadily. Growth in the first half was 4.0%. For the whole year, we can expect growth to be between 3.5% and 4.5%. We added 45,500 jobs in the first half, many more than in the same period last year. This has made it easier for displaced workers to find new jobs. Our efforts to re-design and re-create jobs for older, less-skilled workers have also helped.

Looking ahead, we face a totally different world. China and India are emerging as strong, competitive economies. Globalisation is intensifying competition and speeding up the pace of change. Faced with these common challenges, the countries of ASEAN are working more closely together. We will form an ASEAN Community by 2020. In fact, today, August 8, is ASEAN Day. Together with our ASEAN partners, we will raise awareness of ASEAN among our citizens. Greater ASEAN integration will help us to tackle these challenges and seize the opportunities before us.

Singapore strong fundamentals enable us to face the future with confidence. Our main priority is to grow and upgrade the economy. We need to develop new skills and capabilities, open new markets abroad, bring in investments and seed new areas of growth. We did not start off as a financial centre, an electronics manufacturing base or an air and sea hub, but we made ourselves all these. We cannot stop here; we must continue to reinvent ourselves and build new competencies, as we are doing in bio-technology and multi-media. We must also continue growing our external wing, and seek opportunities in ASEAN, China, India and the Middle East. Then we will create new jobs, and more than make up for the old jobs that are phasing out.

To achieve all these we must equip ourselves with the right skills and attitudes to thrive in the face of uncertainty and change. Hence our emphasis on a first class education system. Every Singaporean ?and not just a select few ?must receive the best education that he is capable of. So we are investingence oHeHH heavily in polytechnics and ITEs, and not just in universities. We are paying attention to Normal stream students, and not just those in the Express and Special streams. We are emphasising lifelong learning, and not just pre-employment education.

We also need to remake our city, so that it is vibrant, cosmopolitan and throbbing with energy, with our own distinctive X-factor that makes us stand out from other cities. Global cities like London, Paris, New York and Shanghai are continuously re-making themselves, so all the more must we. This is the deeper reason, beyond attracting tourists, why we are developing integrated resorts.

Last month, the International Olympic Committee met in Singapore, to choose the city for the 2012 Olympic Games. Eventually London won. For a few days, under the international spotlight, Singapore played the gracious host. We did well, and must do even better on future occasions, for example next year, when the IMF and World Bank hold their meetings here. This is part of our transformation into a leading city, a first class environment for talent and enterprise, and a home for Singaporeans of all races and faiths.

Economic growth is the best social welfare programme. Prosperity provides us the resources to tackle many difficult challenges. One challenge is the widening income gap. We cannot reverse this worldwide trend, but we can help lower income Singaporeans to keep up and find new opportunities. We are training them in useful skills, re-designing their jobs to pay better, educating their children well, and helping them with their utilities and transport bills. And we have the ComCare fund, which helps the needy to get back quickly on their feet again.

A second challenge is our aging population. Singaporeans must keep active, stay healthy and work for as long as possible, so that as they age they can enjoy financial security, afford good medical care, and live more fulfilling lives. Senior citizens are valued members of our society, and we must tap their collective experience and wisdom.

Third, we must continue to look after the health of all Singaporeans, young and old. I know many of you worry about your medical expenses. But our healthcare system delivers a high standard of care for all. We will strive to make healthcare services more affordable for all income groups. But you must do your part too, to look after yourself and keep fit and healthy, because staying well is the best way to keep medical costs down.

These are hard issues with no quick and easy solutions. But we will learn from the experience of other countries and avoid their mistakes, and I believe that we can manage these challenges.

Looking ahead, the signs are favourable. Asia is prospering, and our neighbours in ASEAN are doing well. We are doing the right things, investing in our people and gearing up to live in a different world. I expect the next five years to be better than the last five. Therefore I am confident that working together, we will make Singapore grow and prosper beyond what we have today.

On this 40th anniversary of our independence, I wish all Singaporeans a happy National Day. Let us dedicate ourselves anew, as one united people, to securing this bright and enduring future for Singapore.


1965年8月9日,新加坡成为一个独立自主的国家。一夜之间,我们必须自力更生。 我们缺乏天然资源,也没有可赖以生存的腹地,更没有保家卫国的武装部队。但是, 我们有的是坚强的求存意志。虽然一无所有,我们决心从头做起,把国家建立起来, 尽力改善人民的生活,也为下一代创造美好的前程。

今天是值得我们举国欢腾的好日子。新加坡四十年来所取得的成就,是没有人想得 到的。 我国的经济发展取得很好的成绩。在每一次的衰退之后,我们不但快速复苏,也为 人民带来更多的就业机会和更美好的生活。 我们是个和谐又有凝聚力的社会,各族之间的隔膜逐渐消除,关系更融洽,也更加 相互信任。 世界各地的投资和人才,不断涌进新加坡,享受这里安全和清洁的环境,以及充满 活力的城市脉搏。 我们拥有战斗力强、历经考验的武装部队和内政团队,保障我国的安全,人民因此 能高枕无忧。 我们全民一心,肩负起共同的理想,面对著共同的命运,对国家也有了更深刻的认 同感。

我们必须居安思危。 多年来的国泰民安,不应该使我们放松警惕。我们必须随时 做好准备,以应付对我国安全所带来的各种威胁。伦敦和埃及最近发生的爆炸案, 提醒我们:反恐战争,持续不断。而且,不管防范措施有多严密,恐怖分子还是有 机可乘。我们应有心理准备,以应付突发事件。万一新加坡受到攻击,我们才能不 屈不挠地面对危机,绝不向恐怖分子低头,并显示全民团结的力量。

今年,我国经济继续稳健地增长。上半年的经济增长率是百分之四。我们预料全 年的经济增长率将介于百分之三点五 和百分之四点五之间。今年上半年,我们制造 了四万五千五百个新的工作职位,比去年同时期的还要多。因此,被裁退的工友, 现在比较容易找到工作。我们为年长和低技术工友推行的“重新打造工作计划”, 也比较不那么费力。

展望未来,我们面对全然不同的世界。中国和印度正在崛起,成为富有竞争力的 强大经济体。全球化使竞争更加激烈,改变的步伐越来越快。亚细安国家在面对这 项共同的挑战时,反应积极,正在加强合作。我们计划在2020年成立亚细安共同体。 实际上,今天,也就是8月8日,刚好是亚细安日。我们将同其他亚细安伙伴国合作, 一起提高东南亚人民对亚细安的认识。亚细安加紧整合,可以帮助我们迎接未来的 挑战,以及把握眼前的机会。

我国奠定了牢固的基础,使我们有信心面对未来。我们的当务之急,是发展和提 升经济。在这方面,新加坡人必须掌握新的技术和技能,同时开拓海外的新市场、 引进投资和拓展新的增长领域。建国初期,我国不是什么金融中心,也不是电子制 造业的基地,也不是航空和航运的中心。我们是经过千辛万苦才取得这些成就。我 们不能就此停滞不前,而应该重新打造,拓展具有优势的新领域。譬如,我们正在 开发的生物科技和多媒体企业。我们也必须继续开展在海外的业务,到亚细安、中 国、印度和中东寻找商机。这样一来,我们才能制造新的就业机会,而不只是弥补 流失的工作。

这是一个充满变数的时代。如果我们要继续保持繁荣,就必须具备应有的技能和 态度。要做到这一点,我们必须建立一套优良的教育制度。我们将为每一个国人, 而不只是少数人,提供最好的教育机会,让他们按照自己的能力发挥所长。我们正 大力投资在理工学院和工艺教育学院,而不只是投资在大学教育。我们关注普通源 流学生的学习情况,而不只是关注快捷和特别班的学生。我们强调终身学习,而不 只是就业前的教育。

我们也必须重新打造我们的城市,使它成为一个充满活力、富有魅力的环球都会。 像伦敦、巴黎、纽约和上海这样的环球都会,都无时无刻地在重新打造。我们更应 该做到这一点。这是我们决定建造两座综合度假胜地的更重要理由,而不只是为了 吸引游客。

上个月,国际奥林匹克委员会在我国举行会议,以选出2012年奥林匹克运动会的 主办城市。伦敦脱颖而出。那几天,新加坡成为国际焦点。在世人眼中,我们是好 客的东道主。我们做得很棒。今后在举办国际活动时,我们应该再接再厉。譬如, 国际货币基金组织和世界银行明年将在我国举行会议。这些活动可以磨练我们,帮 助我们实现一个目标,那就是将新加坡发展成为一流的国际城市,使我们拥有最好 的生活环境。渐渐地, 新加坡将成为世界人才和万商汇聚的好地方,也是各民族、 各宗教信仰者安居乐业的好家园。

经济增长是最佳的社会福利计划。有了蓬勃的经济,我们才有应付严峻考验的资 源。当前,我们面对的一大考验是日渐扩大的收入差距。这个全球性的趋势是无法 扭转的。不过,我们能够协助低收入的国人,振作起来,看到新机会。我们正在训 练他们,以掌握谋生的技能。我们也重新打造工作,以增加他们的收入。同时,我 们确保他们的孩子接受良好的教育,并协助这些家庭缴付水电费和公共交通费。政 府也设立了社区关怀基金,以帮助陷入困境的国人,能很快地自力更生。

我们面对的第二个挑战是人口老化的问题。人民应该保持活跃,注重健康,尽可 能“活到老,做到老”,使晚年的生活有保障,也负担得起良好的医药照顾,过著 更充实的生活。乐龄人士是社会的宝贵成员,他们有丰富的阅历和智慧,应该继续 为国家社会做出贡献。

第三,我们必须继续关注全体人民,包括一家大小的医药保健。我知道许多国人 经常为医药费而担忧。目前,我国的医药保健制度,为全体人民提供了高水准的服 务。我们将尽力为不同收入阶层的同胞,提供负担得起的医药保健制度。但是,大 家也应该照顾自己的健康。如果人人健康,医药费就会下降。

这些都是很棘手的问题,没有解决的捷径。不过我们会借鉴其他国家的经验,避 免犯上同样的错误。我相信我们有把握处理这些问题。

展望前景,我们看到许多好兆头。亚洲欣欣向荣,我们的亚细安邻国也发展得很 稳健。我们找对了方向,投资在人民身上,以适应一个不同的世界。我预期今后五 年会比过去五年更好。因此,我有信心,只要大家同心协力,新加坡将继续稳健发 展,更加繁荣昌盛。

在庆祝国家独立40 周年的时刻,我祝大家国庆日愉快。与此同时,让我们共同 祝愿,全民一心,确保新加坡的前景,永远光辉。

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