Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Ministry of Information

Dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told audience at a closed-door forum held on Friday (Feb 24) that the key to future growth in Singapore is to listen to him and “execute”:

“No rocket science needed, key to S’pore’s future growth is execution of plans. While the plans set out by the 2017 Budget to realise the ideas put forth by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) are not rocket science, the key lies in whether Singapore can get everyone pulling in the same direction and achieve its objectives faster than others. The key is whether or not you can make it happen. And to make it happen faster than others, execute and bring everybody on board and see that this is the right strategy, which will work and which will benefit everybody.”

PM Lee Hsien Loong added that Singapore is reaching constraints in terms of physical growth in land and manpower, and that the only solution is the Internet:

“And with the country reaching constraints in terms of physical growth and numbers, leveraging on technology and the Internet is the way to go. In terms of ideas, productivity, breakthroughs, the constraint is only what the human mind can come up with, what people can organise and deliver.”

The son of Lee Kuan Yew, who has never worked a day in the private sector, told business to “adapt to a changing world”:

“The need for countries and businesses to adapt to a changing world. While change is always hard to do, the Government has introduced and managed changes – to varying degrees of success – in several key organisations, industries and government functions. Managing change is a problem which every organisation faces. Small wants to grow big, and big wants not to malfunction. We have confronted that kind of problem many times in our 50-plus years running Singapore.”

Calling himself a “talent”, the brigadier general then recounted how the Singapore Arm Force (SAF) became “successful” with officer-scholars like himself in the rank:

“…the painful process of building up the SAF from two battalions to what it is today. There was a dearth of people to even conceive of a system at the beginning, let alone run and grow it. The Government turned to young people who in the normal course of events would never have gone into the armed forces. We gave them scholarships, sent them to university, made them officers, brought them back into the armed forces. I myself was in the first batch of five such officers. That is one way to change and build an organisation. You put talent in, you merge them with the existing group. Over time, you transform the nature of the outfit.”