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 PM Lee urges S'poreans to be confident about future despite downturn

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PostSubject: PM Lee urges S'poreans to be confident about future despite downturn   Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:07 pm

PM Lee urges S'poreans to be confident about future despite downturn
By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 01 February 2009 2204 hrs


SINGAPORE : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday called on Singaporeans to be confident about the country's future despite the current downturn.

It comes just before the country's Parliament debates this year's record S$20.5 billion budget announced recently to help tide over the crisis.

The Prime Minister joined some 1,400 residents of his Teck Ghee constituency at a community dinner to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

And he had an uplifting message for them.

Mr Lee said: "Despite the downturn, despite all these problems, we should be confident about Singapore's future. In Asia, the prospects are bright, and (in)Singapore, we are part of Asia, we will ride this dragon as it rises."

And to get through the crisis, Mr Lee said Singaporeans must work closely together, especially to help the less fortunate tide over tough times.

In Teck Ghee, low-income families got additional help, like 20 per cent more bursaries for needy students.

The government is also investing in the long term, like upgrading public housing and providing new facilities for old estates.

Mr Lee said Ang Mo Kio and Yio Chu Kang will have six upgrading projects this year. New lifts will also be installed for residents living in Blocks 471 to 476 in Teck Ghee.

Mr Lee said: "We are different from other countries...the way we solve our problems, the way we work together, the way we focus on tackling what worries us now, and also what is coming over the horizon.

"So while we respond in this crisis, to help the poor and the needy and make sure everybody has work, we are also preparing for the future."

And that, Mr Lee said, is how Singapore will emerge stronger from the slowdown.

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/406245/1/.html
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