The Singapore economy is holding steady and is likely to grow faster than the expected 2.5% to 3.5% this year, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The full year GDP growth figure was revised upwards from 1 to 3%, as the economy expanded 2% in the first half of the year.
"The economy is holding steady amidst global uncertainties. We are attracting more quality investments. Unemployment remains low."
He added that Singapore must maintain investor confidence and be open for business even as it tightens up on foreign workers and immigration.
The Prime Minister also signalled a shift in Singapore's approach to nation building, saying that the government will play a bigger role to build a fair and just society.
It will help everyone succeed, as Singapore and the world experience changes in society and more pressure from technology on jobs and incomes.
Lee said the government will do more to help children from less well-off families get off to a good start from pre-school, help the elderly cope with healthcare costs, help every family own an HDB flat, and give low-income workers a better deal through the Workfare income supplement scheme.
"In Singapore, everyone will always have a stake in this country, and ample chances to make good in life," he said. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
The St Margaret's Secondary principal in the Hair for Hope incident has now allowed the five girls involved to go wig-less after discussion with the students, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat in a post about the incident on his Facebook page.
"I am happy to learn that yesterday, (Marion) Tan and her teachers spoke with the students who participated in Hair for Hope," Heng wrote.
"The girls shared with their principal the learning they have had through this experience. Tan, on her part, has also reflected on her decision, and understood that the girls wanted to show empathy and solidarity with cancer patients which entail the experience of going bald.
"With this in mind, she has supported all five in their wish not to conceal their shaved heads. I am glad that the principal, teachers and students of St Margaret's Secondary School have resolved this and will move on from here," he said.
Last week, the St Margaret's students who had their heads shaved for the Hair for Hope charity event in support of children with cancer were taken to task for not wearing wigs after they had promised to do so.
In his blog post on Wednesday morning, Heng added that the teaching community was very proud that the students had shown great character by showing solidarity with those afflicted with cancer. "It is not easy for a teenage girl to shave her head – I fully appreciate and applaud the commitment it shows," wrote Heng adding that the Ministry wants schools to nurture young people with a natural empathy for those who have known suffering.
He noted that Tan felt the same way and did give her support to the students to join in the charity exercise but on condition that the girls would don wigs in school. While some may say the school is being rigid, he said he understood the principal's rationale for asking the girls to wear wigs. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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