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Tough journey ahead for Singapore in post-SG50 era: PM Lee

PM Lee recording the 2016 New Year Messages at the Istana_MCI Photo.jpg
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recording the 2016 New Year Messages at the Istana.

SINGAPORE "cannot expect" an easy journey as it begins life post-SG50, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday.

In his annual New Year Message, he noted how Singapore was in a "very different" world from the country's pioneers 50 years ago.

"Yes, we have many more opportunities in the globalised world, but we also face fiercer competition. Yes, we have more resources, but we also have higher aspirations. Our economy is slowing down and undergoing transition," he said.

"But the journey can be every bit as exciting as the first 50 years. Because we know come what may - challenges, disappointments and sorrows - we will be there for one another. We will celebrate our successes together, because we know we can only succeed together," the prime minister added.

Mr Lee also shared his four stand-out moments for 2015 - the state funeral of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew on March 29; the weekend of July 4 where he attended five religious events; the Golden Jubilee celebrations on Aug 9; and Polling Day for the General Election on Sept 11.

"(These events) showed the world, and ourselves, what a determined and united people can do, (and) why Singapore is a shining red dot," said Mr Lee. "But most of all, these were moments when we came together and took responsibility for one another. We wept, we sang, we celebrated, we bonded together, and emerged stronger as one united people."

In a first, Mr Lee also released a video recording for the New Year Message, which he shared on his Facebook page and the Prime Minister's Office official YouTube channel. The video can be viewed here.