Singaporeans cannot disavow India, China ethnic roots, says PM Lee

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his last speech before stepping down from the leadership in two weeks, highlighted the importance of unity among multi-faith, multi-national Singaporeans, emphasising their diverse ethnic roots with India and China, and religious affiliations.

Speaking at a May Day Rally on Wednesday, Lee emphasised the lasting importance of social unity despite the usual divides of race, language, and religion.

“We cannot disavow our diverse ethnic roots and religious affinities – Chinese Singaporeans with China, Indian Singaporeans with their various ancestral homes in India, Malay Singaporeans with the rest of our region, and with the global Muslim Ummah,” Lee said, impressing on the citizens of prosperous island state nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia.

Lee cautioned against potential divisions, including socio-economic disparities, tensions between Singaporean-born and naturalised citizens, and ideological differences.

As he prepared to hand over leadership to Deputy Lawrence Wong on May 15, Lee urged vigilance in maintaining racial and religious harmony while addressing emerging tensions.

Highlighting Singapore’s system anchored on trust, Lee praised the People’s Action Party (PAP) government’s commitment to delivering results for Singaporeans.

“Therefore, at each (general) election, 15 times in a row, the PAP has won a renewed mandate, fair and square, and continued to deliver results for Singaporeans,” said Lee.

Lee, 72, stressed the importance of continuity in governance, urging successors to uphold the system built by former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong.

Reflecting on his 20-year tenure, Lee expressed satisfaction with Singapore’s progress and credited the collective efforts of its citizens.

“I have done my duty, and I am very happy I chose this path of public service all those many years ago,” said Lee, who was also marking his 40th year in politics.

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

May 1, 2024

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