‘We will lead in our own way’: Lawrence Wong takes office as fourth Prime Minister of


While his team will do more in all these areas, Singaporeans too have to play a part to support their fellow citizens, said Mr Wong.

“Then we can build a Singapore where everyone succeeds in being the best possible versions of themselves. We can be a people, who are more inclusive, gracious and big-hearted,” he said.

“We can be a society where every Singaporean matters. And a Singapore that matters to every Singaporean.”

Mr Wong noted that there are no easy formulas or available models to follow in pursuing such ambitious goals. “We will have to experiment, discover fresh solutions and blaze new paths.”

While there are some who will doubt Singapore’s ability to go further, such scepticism is nothing new, and the country will prove its doubters wrong again, said Mr Wong.

“When the going gets tough, we do not crumble. We press on, with faith in our fellow citizens and in Singapore’s future,” he said.

Mr Wong said that he will bring such a spirit of determination and hard work to his new role.

“This is my promise to all Singaporeans: I will serve you with all my heart. I will never settle for the status quo. I will always seek better ways to make tomorrow better than today,” he said.

“My mission is clear: To continue defying the odds and to sustain this miracle called Singapore. So that we can reach even greater heights. So that we can be a beacon of hope and unity for ourselves and our children.”

TOUGH EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Mr Wong also noted that while Singapore is in a strong position currently, the world is in flux, with geopolitical tensions and rampant nationalism everywhere.

“For 30 years since the Cold War ended, we enjoyed unprecedented peace and stability in the Asia Pacific. Unfortunately, that era is over. It will not return. Now we face a world of conflict and rivalry,” he said.

The competition between the great powers to shape a new global order will likely stretch for years, if not decades, said Mr Wong.

Singapore cannot escape these powerful cross-currents as a small country and must adapt to a “messier, riskier and more violent world”, he said.



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