Strengthening social compact, easing cost of living: things MPs hope to hear in PM Lee’s NDR speech


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his National Day Rally (NDR) 2022 speech tomorrow (Aug 21) at the Institute of Technical Education Ang Mo Kio Headquarters.

His Malay speech will start at 6:45pm, followed by his Mandarin speech at 7pm and English speech at 8pm.

We spoke to a few MPs to find out what they wish to hear in PM Lee’s NDR speech.

On creating the future of HDB housing for Singaporeans

Cheryl Chan, MP for Fengshan SMC, Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) Chair for National Development

How we will be building a vibrant and more sustainable city for Singapore. Singaporeans have given us some bold ideas, including they hope to have HDB flats that are not just affordable, but actually closer to the prime locations in the city centre and also around the mature estates. I hope the housing estates that we build in future will accommodate people with different needs. For example, those with special needs and have to work closer to home. There’s also a growing trend of more people working from home. The future HDB flats will actually need to look into different aspects of sustainability so that it gets more integrated into the flats and become a way of our life. The PAP and the Government have been planning ahead and always building major infrastructures that caters for our future needs. I hope to hear from PM’s speech how we’ll be building for the future of Singapore and planning ahead.

On supporting and helping businesses thrive

Edward Chia, MP for Zhenghua Ward, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, GPC Deputy Chair for Manpower

More about how we can help employers deepen business transformation. Many of our employees have gone through multiple crises, back to back crises in the last few years because of Covid. Many struggled with their very existence and they had to work really hard to basically survive. And today we are presented with new challenges of rising costs of living costs and material supply chains disruptions as well. So I feel that there’s an urgent need to partner with employers, deepen transformation, so that employers and employees can grow collectively, which eventually benefits all Singaporeans.

On uplifting lower-wage workers

Fahmi Aliman, MP for Geylang Serai Ward, Marine Parade GRC, Mayor of South East District

For our lower-wage workers – many of whom provide essential services – their day-to-day needs are often top-of-mind. That said, navigating this post-Covid world is not always easy.

On helping Singaporeans ease cost of living pressures

Liang Eng Hwa, MP for Bukit Panjang SMC, GPC Chair for Finance and Trade & Industry

Rising cost of living is foremost in the minds of all Singaporeans. I believe that will be among the key agenda of Prime Minister’s National Day Rally speech. We have seen how the rising costs have impacted families, impacted households, businesses. The scale and the magnitude of the cost increases is not something we’ve seen before. The root causes of these cost increases are also very structural and global in nature, such as the war in Ukraine, the geopolitical tensions that leads to supply chain issues, the post-Covid recovery, the demands that we’ve seen, and also the lockdowns in some locations around the world. So these are all really very deep and structural issues. And hence, I’m looking forward to hearing from the Prime Minister outline the strategy – how we as a country can cope with the cost of living crisis, and how we can mitigate and reduce the impact on all Singaporeans.

On living with Covid-19

Yip Hon Weng, MP for Yio Chu Kang SMC

That we won’t have any more social restrictions because of Covid. We have come through recent infection waves without tightening social restrictions. So I hope PM can let us know more about the roadmap ahead. One issue that many residents discuss with me is whether they are expected to take yearly boosters. If this becomes something that is expected, then fewer people will take boosters each round. So we want to hear whether will there be a risk to how we live with Covid? Because many of my residents are elderly, they’re also concerned how will the government keep them safe, while minimising social restrictions. Some of my other residents are also concerned about other infectious diseases such as TB and Monkeypox. I hope that the PM will give assurance to Singaporeans, both young and old, that Singapore will continue to be one of the safest and healthiest countries in the world.

On strengthening our social compact

Murali Pillai, MP for Bukit Batok SMC

How the Government proposes to continue to help low income families, especially their children, those with physical disabilities and those who have mental challenges, as we ensure that our social compact remains strong.

On contributing to the Forward Singapore exercise

Xie Yao Quan, MP for Jurong Central ward, Jurong GRC

I hope to hear more about the Forward Singapore that our 4G leadership will be embarking on and Singaporeans. We have many significant challenges that we’ll have to deal with as a people. We need serious conversation, candid conversations. Challenges like how do we care for seniors with an ageing population? How do we accommodate the aspirations of our youth? How do we create a home that everyone can stay hopeful in and a home that everyone can become the best version of themselves to maximise their potential. So, many serious issues and I hope the Forward Singapore conversations will be honest, candid, respectful. Hopefully we’ll reach consensus, but where we don’t, we will agree to disagree. And when there are fundamental policy assumptions that are challenged, I hope the government can take bold action to really make changes to long-held policy.

Watch the interviews here.