PM’s National Day Rally Speech 2008

19 08 2008

National Day Rally

The rising cost of living was highlighted as the hottest issue for Singaporeans by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech on August 17.

He said the government will provide help for Singaporeans from all income groups. This includes an increase in the second payout of this year’s Growth Dividends by 50% as well as a 50% increase in this year’s U-Save rebates.

Mr Lee also spoke about the need to create a more gracious society, pro-baby measures as well as easing rules on political activities and outdoor public demonstrations.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally
English Text and Video
Malay Text (In English) Watch Video
Mandarin Text (In English) Part 1: Watch Video
Part 2: Watch Video
Part 3: Watch Video




Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally
Part 1: Our Economy – helping to cope with rising costs Text Watch Video
Part 2: Our Society – making Singapore a gracious society Text Watch Video
Part 3: Our People – helping singles get married Text Watch Video
Part 4: Our People – pro-baby measures to boost birthrate Text Watch Video
Part 5: Our Future – preparing our society for new media Text Watch Video
Part 6: Our Future – easing rules on political activities, public demos Text Watch Video
Part 7: Conclusion Text Watch Video


PM’s dating tips

19 08 2008

PM’s dating tips

IN-BETWEEN discussing the economy and the impact of the Internet on politics worldwide, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also had some words of advice for singles seeking a partner.

  • Make time to go out and meet new friends  
  • Join a dating agency, be it the Government’s Social Development Unit/Social Development Service or a private agency.  
  • Have realistic expectations. You have to make an effort for the relationship to work.  


  • Bring your social graces up to scratch. For instance, do not wear slippers when taking your date out for a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant.
    While it is easy to get carried away by romantic images in movies – where you meet someone of your dreams, instantly fall madly in love, get married, maybe have twins and live happily ever after – we are ordinary people in real life. ‘We may not have instant sparks the first time. But you take your time, discover the person for who he or she is, nurture the relationship, and then maybe love may blossom.’
  • Source:StraitsTime

    The high price of saying ‘I do’

    19 08 2008

    The high price of saying ‘I do’

    Do you really need a big wedding when you’ve already found true love?

    By Fiona Chan

    ‘LOVE don’t cost a thing,’ Jennifer Lopez once famously sang – but she neglected to mention that weddings are quite another matter.

    Over the past few years, I have marvelled at how my peers managed everything from custom-made animated videos to sunset yacht parties for their unions, while still qualifying only for an HDB flat on a combined income of $8,000 a month.

    My own wedding next year will be fuss-free: just the traditional hotel dinner and a simple solemnisation on one day. Even so, it will probably cost my entire year’s salary.

    That cost is, in fact, delaying some of my friends’ walk down that aisle; they say they have not saved enough for their big day.

    It is a practical consideration given today’s inflation. Even a small wedding can be costly, and every time a bride-to-be hears wedding bells, there is also the background ka-ching sound from the bridal industry’s cash registers.

    According to my extensive – but unscientific – research, the average cost of a weekend hotel banquet will go up 5 per cent to 10 per cent between this year and next, crossing the $1,000 per table mark just in time for my dinner.

    That does not include wine, now a wedding staple, which will set you back another $1,000 or so. Another $3,000 will go to photographers and videographers to document the special day.

    Then there is the dress.

    Even at one-stop heartland shops, bridal gown packages now cost upwards of $2,500. I have not even dared to ask about the designer creations I drool over in magazines.

    Wedding rings – just those little bands – do not come under $1,200 a pair. My fiance and I have taken to walking into jewellery shops and demanding to see their cheapest choices.

    And we didn’t get very good service, let me tell you.

    So I tell myself not to get carried away – who says you have to have it all?

    Although ‘mandatory’ banquets may be blamed on parents, it is the couples themselves who order personalised videos, devise themes and plan three entrances with accompanying dramatic outfits.

    Problem is, most of their friends are also new to the workforce, which means their well-meant dinner hongbao probably cover just the appetisers.

    Couples swallow the exorbitant mark-ups on purchases for their wedding, telling themselves it is a once-in- a-lifetime event worth every cent to celebrate their love.

    One friend even toyed with the idea of having her bridal photos shot overseas for an extra-special touch. The cost: $15,000.

    My question is: If you have true love, do you really need the big wedding?

    After all, you could get married for as little as $26 – the fee that the Registry of Marriages charges for a marriage licence.

    That does not seem enough for young starry-eyed couples just starting their careers, who seem to want the splashiest weddings.

    But I know of a couple in their late 30s who did away with the pomp and had a simple church service and dinner, happy enough to have found love when they least expected it.

    Lopez’s wedding, to singer Marc Anthony in 2004, was a low-key affair which cost US$50,000 (about S$70,400 in today’s rates). The couple, both acquainted with failed marriages, spent a relatively modest amount on their celebrity wedding, compared to say, Liza Minelli, whose 2002 nuptials topped’s most expensive wedding list at an estimated US$3.5million.

    Me, I am lucky enough to have a partner who constantly reminds me that it is the marriage, not just the wedding, which really matters.

    Lopez is still married. Minelli is not. With the right person, love won’t cost you much at all.