Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Straits Times

Speaking at a National Day dinner held at his Teck Ghee constituency, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong claimed that his government’s policies are working and that everyone’s lives are improving:

“The economy is expected to grow by around 2.5 per cent this year – higher than last year’s 2 per cent – and this has lifted wages, and created more jobs for Singaporeans. Productivity is also rising. This is encouraging. It shows that our policies are working. We are able to upgrade our economy, and we are able steadily to improve everybody’s lives.”

However the Prime Minister did not explain which specific government policy raised productivity and how have wages actually increased. According to the latest statistics by the Manpower Ministry, a decline in the number of foreign labour led to an increase in productivity. Wages for the bottom 20% may see nominal increases, however the wages averaged at about S$1,100 is still insufficient to cope with the cost of living in Singapore. Also, income gap continues to be one of the worst in the world at 0.428.

PM Lee then said the coming Malay Presidential candidate, Halimah Yacob, will be “well-loved and respected” like President Yusof Ishak:

“This is what our first president, Encik Yusof Ishak, had envisioned: a modern Singapore that is meritocratic and multiracial. All Singaporeans are committed to building and defending Singapore. And if all goes well, Singapore will see another Malay president soon. Next month’s presidential election is reserved for Malay candidates. I hope we will have one whom all Singaporeans will be proud of, one who is as well-loved and respected as Encik Yusof Ishak.”