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PM says strong economy and sound finances needed to sustain building of S'pore in next 50 years

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SINGAPORE needs a strong economy and sound government finances to help build the country for the next 50 years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Message.

"We are not done building Singapore yet," he said. "By planning boldly and creatively, we can reimagine Singapore, remake our heartlands and rejuvenate our communities."

Mr Lee said this would be "a massive, long-term undertaking, lasting more than a generation". 

More than a strong economy and sound government finances, he said Singapore requires social cohesion, political stability and good government for many years to come in order to carry out and realise its vision.

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Greater attention will be given to transforming education, healthcare and housing so that Singaporeans will have a better life, Mr Lee said. 

"When people express concern over the cost of living, these are three significant items they worry about," he said. "In Singapore, we ensure that these key public services are both of high quality and affordable to all Singaporeans, rich or poor."

Mr Lee, who delivered this year's National Day Message from Kampung Admiralty, said the integrated housing estate designed for senior citizens, is an example of what the government is doing to transform education, healthcare and housing to improve the lives of Singaporeans.

The flats there are senior citizen-friendly, boasting inbuilt features like grab bars and non-slip tiles. Located near the flats are a supermarket, a medical centre, a community garden, a childcare centre and a hawker centre.

Mr Lee said Kampung Admiralty is not just an innovative public housing project; it's also a model for future public housing.

"It meets a need as our society ages, encouraging the residents and their families to come together to build a community," he said. "HDB will continue to develop other innovative housing concepts, for the young as well as the old, so that future generations can also own their homes and live comfortably and happily in their neighbourhoods."

Mr Lee noted that Singapore has come a long way in just 53 years. "Today, we are a vibrant and flourishing city-state. Our economy continues to grow steadily – around 3 to 3.5 per cent in recent years. Productivity is improving, and incomes are rising. Singaporeans enjoy a good quality of life, better than many others in the world."

But he also warned that there are some clouds on the horizon. Trade tensions between major economies have seriously worsened, putting global trade, investments and business confidence at risk. Regional and international security is also in danger.