Here are major Highlights of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his Speech to People’s Action Party (PAP) members at its biennial party conference:
The external world is changing… in a very fundamental way not advantageous to us. We have to watch this, we have to know how this is going to impact us over the next few years.
This looks like the trend now. I do not know how far it will go, but I do not like the direction the trend is going.
If more countries turn this way, the world is going to change, and change for the worse.
Nobody can tell how relations between the big powers will develop. If US-China relations grow tense, Singapore is going to be in a very difficult spot, because we regard both the US and China as our friends and do not want to have to choose between them.
We ourselves must remain open, because if we close up like other countries, our people will be finished.
Voters are fed up, not just with particular parties or individual leaders but with the whole system. Because they felt the elite is out-of-touch; and the system is not working for them.”
Extreme parties on both the left and the right are strengthening, gaining support. They can’t govern, they offer no workable alternative, but voters still support them – doesn’t matter, bring the house down.
Instead of being open, self-confident, and proud of their own countries, and seeking win-win opportunities with other countries, now voters have become insecure, inward-looking, anxious about their future.
When others succeed they think of it as a win-lose proposition, and so try to shut themselves off from the rest of the world.