For This Year’s National Day Rally, PM Lee Decides To Nag S’poreans And Show Baby Photos


This is a guest post contributed by Jasmine

2017 marks the year that PM Lee took quite an unusual turn in delivering the typical National Day Rally messages.

National Day Rally messages traditionally are meant for “big picture topics” like the economy, jobs, upgrading, national security and even unveiling exciting new developments like Jewel Changi  Airport (who could forget that virtual walk-through that wow-ed us all) and Punggol  21!

But this year was quite different. Join us as we give you a blow-by-blow how PM’s NDR this year went down.


It starts… just like every NDR before it

So PM started off with the usual – talking about how last year was all about taking our Singapore economy to the next level: to develop new skills, build capabilities, promote entrepreneurship.

He presented our report card – the economy is expected to grow 2.5% this year with wages and productivity on the uptrend. (Did we hear a raise? Must make a note to tell boss)

So while we pat ourselves on the back, PM reminded us that we still have these three things to do this year:

  • The Future Economy Council is hard at work and Singapore will be rolling out our various Industry Transformation Maps. The unions, represented by the National Trades Union Congress, as well as employers are on board and working towards the future economy.
  • Singapore is pressing on with SkillsFuture – helping workers and professionals who are displaced and re-training and re-skilling to take up new jobs.
  • We can create more jobs and new opportunities for workers and businesses.

And then things got interesting

After giving us the big picture low-down for the year, PM wrapped it up and suddenly said that he would like to take a step back from these immediate priorities. Wait… what did we just hear?


He then went on to talk about preschool and we stunned like vegetable.

We sat through minutes of preschool 101 and lots of pictures of babies, babies and more babies.

But in case you #lionmums and #tigerdads missed out, we got notes from an equally kiasu #lionmum for your benefit – you’re welcome!

The education boxes that have been checked so far:

  • Created almost 50,000 more childcare and kindergarten places (*cue applause from young parents in Punggol*)
  • Increased subsidies (*cues applause from everyone else who knows parenting is one heck of expensive*)
  • Raise standards of Anchor Operators – NTUC’s My First Skool has been developing various engaging programmes; premium standard of education at affordable prices
  • MOE has started to run its own kindergartens

But more can be done:

  • 40,000 more places to be created within 5 years
  • Improving the quality of preschool education for 5 and 6 year-olds with MOE leading the way
  • Upgrade the preschool profession via the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC), centralized Institute to develop curricula and for research

PM Lee nags you about your health

Like a sagely elderly man that he is, PM then decided that he needed to chide Singaporeans on national TV about their diet and lack of exercise.

Because you know, national things like the economy and wages… meh. He lamented that compared to other developed countries, Singapore is almost a world champion in terms of the people who have diabetes. :X

Definitely, one thing we don’t want to be world champions for. But never fear, PM’s advice to beat diabetes is here!

PM says you….  1) Get regular medical check-ups, 2) exercise more 3) eat less, eat healthily and 4) cut down on soft drinks

But honestly, all we took away was 1) MM Lee used to eat half a steak? Where got enough? 2) Mummy! NTUC FairPrice has brown rice promotion for August! and 3) Wahhhh! Everyone in the audience got free step-tracker and after event got fried rice to eat. #nubbad


Wrapping up with being Smart Nation

PM Lee wrapped up his National Day Rally with a somewhat broader topic than the rest – Smart Nation. He laid out the plan to integrate payment systems for seamless and convenient payment.

PM Lee also shared that another area IT can help is public safety and security by building up a network of sensors through installing more CCTVs in public areas and integrating data from various sources.  Other projects in the pipeline include solutions for parking and technology in retail.

He also stressed that to be a Smart Nation, we need people such as engineers, data analysts, technicians and programmers etc and the SkillsFuture and Professional Conversion Programmes will help workers upgrade their skills.

Although this years’ National Day Rally message has been rather unusual, PM ends off the same and familiar rallying call to Singaporeans. To take heed of the things he mentioned, to forge ahead together to build our future and to overcome obstacles.

Till the next National Day Rally!

In case you missed the National Day Rally 2017, you can check it out here at:


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