As Singapore's Jubilee year draws to a close, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat who helmed the national celebration believes it has sparked a new Singapore spirit, and given people a greater sense of home.
"That to me is the biggest achievement of SG50," said Minister Heng who headed the SG50 Steering Committee.
More than 80 per cent of Singaporeans polled by the SG50 Programme Office said they felt SG50 had brought people closer. The celebration also brought to the fore six highly desirable values: empathy, integrity, harmony, resourcefulness, resilience and responsibility.
Singaporeans were inspired to take the country forward, Mr Heng said, and he wished for the energy to last. The experience has already given him ideas for the next lap, part of which he leads as chairman of the Committee on the Future Economy.
He identified two key focus areas for the new journey: strengthening the sense of "one people", and keeping the economy vibrant.
To build on SG50 momentum, the SGfuture dialogue series which runs into next year will see Singaporeans discuss issues such as building a sustainable home, and fostering a caring community. The dialogues will draw inspiration from the ongoing Future Of Us exhibition.
Beyond the dialogues, Mr Heng wants to encourage people to get ideas off the ground. To bolster their efforts, the Government will look at ways to back SGfuture projects, like facilitating tie-ups or pointing groups towards funding.
“We have to make many changes in the years ahead — in the way we do things, in the way we think about how we adapt to technological changes, changes around the world, changes in the social fabric and the norms around the world.”
"Let us start another new phase of our nation-building, which is to mobilise all our fellow Singaporeans... to give ideas and to act on those ideas."
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Sources: “SG50 has stirred new Singapore spirit: Heng Swee Keat” (The Straits Times, 28 Dec 2015); “‘Build on S’pore spirit’ for next lap” (TODAY, 27 Dec 2015); “Singaporeans felt SG50 brought nation together: Poll” (The Straits Times, 28 Dec 2015)