Tuesday, 22 August 2017

PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech 2017

All the reactions against PM Lee’s National Day Rally 2017 speech
Photo: YouTube screengrab: PM Lee

In case you missed it last night, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong dropped by the Institute of Technical Education College Central to deliver this year’s National Day Rally speech.

But as we all know, our Sunday nights are too precious to pay attention to the government’s priorities in policy-making, so here’s what he talked about: the increasing importance of pre-school education, being healthy and becoming more technologically advanced. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. You can check out his whole speech below, or read the dozens of “highlights” and “key takeaway” pieces about National Day Rally 2017.

Done? Cool. Here’s some of the top responses we could find that take PM Lee’s points and issues to task:
  • On this year’s “insipid”, “banal” speech
  • On eating healthy
  • On Singapore lagging behind in the world of e-payments
  • On parking.sg, the app that really should have been launched a long time ago

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What Should Have Been The Focus Of An Insipid NDR Speech
I cannot but feel perplexed at the state of policymaking in Singapore after the conclusion of the National Day Rally by PM Lee Hsien Loong.

The three key policy thrusts as presented by him were namely, the war against diabetes; pre-school education and the Smart Nation initiative.

While not slighting the need to eat healthily and also the contribution of pre-school teachers to the learning and well-being of children, I do not think that these are urgent and pressing issues that warrant an airing at the NDR.

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In NDR speech, PM Lee outlines efforts to improve preschools, fight diabetes and shape Smart Nation
In NDR speech, PM Lee outlines efforts to improve preschools, fight diabetes and shape Smart Nation

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will address 3 issues critical to Singapore’s long-term success in his 14th National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 20) night.

Giving a preview of his speech earlier this month, Mr Lee said ensuring children have a good start in life, nudging Singaporeans to stay healthy, and tapping technology to create opportunities and jobs are three important ways in which the Government is preparing for the future.

In his speech at the ITE College Central, he will elaborate on the Government’s efforts to improve pre-school education, the war on diabetes and the Smart Nation initiative.

The full speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament, July 3, 2017
Multiple channels for public feedback on National Day Rally
PM Lee to deliver 14th National Day Rally on Aug 20
Highlights: National Day Rally 2017 (CNA)
National Day Rally to be held Aug 20 (CNA)

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Former NSP Secretary General Lim Tean declares PM Lee’s NDR speech as banal

Former National Solidarity Party Secretary General Lim Tean took to Facebook to express his distaste over the un-originality of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech, yesterday evening. PM Lee discussed three key issues in his speech, this year – improving pre-school education, battling diabetes and building a Smart Nation.

However, Lim pointed out there were other pressing problems left unaddressed, such as “the increasing unemployment, stagnating wages, astronomical costs of living, inadequate income for our elderly, ultra-low productivity, and dismal innovation and entrepreneurship.” Claiming that the health education in schools would be more effective than PM Lee’s speech on diabetes, he said: “Honestly, any doctor can advise his client on this matter.” While he stated that the segment on pre-school education shows zero originality, he also proclaimed that section on establishing a Smart Nation only demonstrates how the government has been lacking in innovation so far.

He ended his post with a bold remark:
“Imagine the American President giving a speech like what was delivered tonight. I think Americans will think that their President has absolutely no agenda to improve their lives. Dismal!”
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Singapore PM delivers banal speech for National Day Rally

I never thought I would see the day when the Prime Minister of Singapore would give as banal a speech as he gave tonight.

Our country has so many problems ranging from increasing unemployment , stagnating wages , astronomical costs of living , inadequate income for our elderly , ultra-low productivity and dismal innovation and entrepreneurship.

The PM chose not to address any of these pressing issues and instead chose to assume the mantle of Chief Doctor of the Nation and spoke about diabetes. Honestly , any doctor can advise his client on this matter. National Health education in schools would be more effective too rather than a speech by the Head of Government.

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Former NMP on PM Lee’s push towards a Smart Nation: “We will be a stupid nation that is only ‘smart’ because our Government told us so.”

Following his initial post rebutting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s suggestions on healthy living, former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng put up another Facebook post last night claiming that the government should not have to lead Singapore for the country to become a Smart Nation.

In his National Day Rally speech last evening, PM Lee highlighted the importance of transitioning into a Smart Nation. Other than conveying how technology can aid citizens in their daily lives and within public areas, he also pointed out that Singapore still lags behind other countries in the area of cashless, electronic payments.

He brought up a story of Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who discovered that even roadside hawkers accepted electronic payments in China a few years ago.

related: Is PM Lee ripping off Obama’s ‘Preschool for All’ initiative?

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Almost half of Singaporeans neutral on PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech: poll

About 48 per cent of Singaporeans were neutral on the National Day Rally speech by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered on Sunday (20 August), according to a survey by Blackbox Research.

The survey, which was released on Monday, finds that 44 per cent of Singaporeans were positive about the speech while the remaining 8 per cent rated it negatively.

When asked about their connection with the three broad segments of Lee’s speech – preschools, the war against diabetes and Smart Nation – 38 per cent of Singaporeans rated it positively, followed by half of them who were neutral and 12 per cent who rated it negatively.

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