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Old 19-08-2019, 07:24 AM   #1
richardg's Avatar
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Default National Day Rally 2019: The cheat sheet

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks at the National Day Rally on Aug 18, 2019.
Najeer Yusof/TODAY
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a slew of announcements related to climate change, education and older workers at the National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 18). He also spoke about the economy and how the ongoing tensions between the United States and China could have an impact on how Singaporeans live and travel.

Here’s all you need to know about the three speeches he delivered:

1. A major focus of Mr Lee’s English speech was the challenge posed by climate change and, in particular, rising sea levels to Singapore’s existence.

Indeed the threat is so menacing that the Government is prepared to commit S$100 billion or more, over the next 100 years, to invest in the engineering solutions needed to defend Singapore’s coastlines and protect its infrastructure and people from the effects of rising sea levels.

Mr Lee said Singaporeans should think of climate change the way it thinks about the Singapore Armed Forces — with “utmost seriousness”.

Read the full story: It will cost S$100b or more over next 50 to 100 years to protect Singapore against rising sea levels: PM Lee

2. Mr Lee also outlined the steps that the Government has already taken in recent years to prepare Singapore for the effects of climate change, and what it plans to do next.

He also took pains to explain Singapore’s topography, and why a seemingly small increase in sea levels could have disastrous effects on this low-lying island nation.

Read the full story: Explainer: Why climate change should matter to Singaporeans and what the Government is doing about it

3. In a widely anticipated move, Mr Lee announced that the retirement age will be raised from 62 to 65, while the re-employment age will be raised from 67 to 70.

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for workers aged between 55 and 60 will also be raised gradually from 2021 until they hit 37 per cent — on par with that of younger workers.

These changes will better support Singaporean workers and boost their retirement adequacy as they live longer lives, Mr Lee said, noting that at 84.8 years, Singapore's life expectancy is now the highest in the world.

Read the full story: Retirement and re-employment ages to be raised by 3 years, CPF contribution rates for older workers to go up

4. To make preschool fees affordable for more Singaporean households, Mr Lee said the Government will raise the income ceiling for those seeking extra subsidies to S$12,000 next year, from S$7,500 now. This will allow 30,000 more families to benefit from these extra subsidies.

The move is aimed at ensuring that Singaporeans have the same level of access to good-quality, government-supported preschools as they do to public housing and healthcare.

While just over 50 per cent of preschool places are government-supported today, he said that this will be raised to 80 per cent, just like with public housing.

Read the full story: Govt to beef up preschool subsidies for middle-income families from 2020

5. Higher education will be made cheaper for Singaporeans, especially those from lower-income households.

Annual charges for full-time general degrees at the Singapore Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Social Sciences will be reduced, while government bursaries for general university degrees will be raised.

Bursaries for polytechnic diploma courses will also be increased and these bursaries will cover diploma and degree students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle College of the Arts.

Lower-income students who enter medical school will now pay at most S$5,000 a year for the course.

Read the full story: Lower fees at SIT, SUSS, and higher varsity, polytechnic grants from next academic year

6. Pulau Brani, now home to a port terminal, will be redeveloped to host new attractions similar to Universal Studios on Sentosa, Mr Lee said, as the Greater Southern Waterfront will be rebuilt and revitalised with more housing, office space and lifestyle areas.

The Greater Southern Waterfront encompasses 2,000ha of land, or six times the size of Marina Bay and double the size of Punggol.

Two old power stations in Pasir Panjang, which used to supply electricity in the 1960s but were decommissioned, will also be redeveloped, Mr Lee said.

Read the full story: Pulau Brani to house NTUC’s ‘Downtown South’, attractions akin to Universal Studios Singapore

7. The trade war between the United States and China could result in Singapore having to decide which telecommunications system to install and Singaporeans needing to carry multiple phones overseas, Mr Lee noted.

In his Chinese speech, he outlined how the tensions between the two giants could have far-reaching implications for the global economy, and how the tech tussle adds a layer of complexity to the issue.

Read the full story: Ongoing trade war could have deep impact on Singapore and its telecoms system, says PM Lee

8. Mr Lee acknowledged that the Singapore economy has been slowing down, but said that the current situation does not warrant immediate stimulus measures.

However, if it gets much worse, the Government will promptly respond with appropriate interventions to sustain the livelihoods of workers, he added.

But for now, he noted that retrenchments and unemployment remain low.
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Old 19-08-2019, 11:37 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Preludes to coming election!!!
lenghan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2019, 05:33 PM   #3
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Posts: 113

So he thinks PAP will continue to rule our nation for the next 100 years ??
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