PM Lee’s 2014 New Year message forecasts strong economic growth
The Singapore economy grew 3.7 percent in 2013, better than initially expected, revealed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his New Year message.
This year, he said the economy is expected to grow by two to four percent.
He added that while the country encountered a few rough spots in 2013, Singaporeans still managed to come through together.
In fact, the median salary rose 3.9 percent while salaries for the lower-income group also increased.
“We will share the fruits of progress more widely, including through home ownership schemes and support for low wage workers,” PM Lee said.
“We are making steady progress. The first-timer queue for HDB flats has shortened, housing prices have stabilised, and targeted subsidies have made homes more affordable.”
“We are transforming our physical environment: Opening new train lines and expressways, and working through their teething problems; in the longer term expanding Changi Airport, reclaiming land for Tuas Port, and planning the Southern Waterfront City.”
As for the foreign worker situation, he explained that the country will be taking a balanced approach – reducing but not cutting off their inflow since they are needed to keep the economy running and to build critical infrastructure such as homes, schools and MRT lines.
“We will continue to treat foreign workers fairly, but we expect them to obey our laws and social norms,” he noted, highlighting that the recent riot in Little India was “inexcusable”.
He said that the riot reminded all Singaporeans that they can never take good order, peace and stability for granted.
Overall, “provided nothing untoward happens in Asia, I am confident that Singapore will do well”.