At a recent question and answer session, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke of recent and impending changes that relate to the changing state of affairs in not only Singapore but also the region. Much of his focus was on economic and social changes along with the need for more cooperation between neighboring states.
At the gala dinner for the Indian Institutes of Management, the Prime Minister had a chance to voice his opinion on many of the recent developments in regional politics and how Singapore, along with regional partners like Indonesia and India, fit in.
On the political and social climate in his own nation, he spoke of the need for Singaporeans to adjust to the effects of economic restructuring and changes that have come as the result of the information age, saying, “It’s a time of change and we have to get used to it.”
He also spoke of the need for Singapore to make an effort to integrate the immigrant communities into the broader social fabric of the nation. He stated that for this effort to be successful there must be an effort from both sides. While foreign residents that are living in the nation must make an effort to fit in and participate, he also believes that native Singaporeans must take steps to welcome them into society.
On the topic of the effects that social media has had on politics and society the Prime Minister spoke of how it has changed the way that information is shared but that it has not significantly changed the reality of politics. However, in regard to how the internet has affected society, he did speak of how people sometimes have a tendency to get overly agitated by things that may be posted in the social media and he questioned whether it was necessary to have such a strong reaction to these incidents.
In further discussion, the Prime Minister said that he looked forward to working with the newly elected Indian PM Narendra Modi and soon to be President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. In reference to these regional neighbors, he spoke of hopes that there could be further cooperation on issues like trade, infrastructure and education.