SINGAPORE: Apart from bread-and-butter issues, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also spoke about the need to create a more gracious society in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday night.
He said Singapore’s social graces will be put to the test when the country hosts the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
Some of the pet peeves of Singaporeans such as jaywalking and stealing cabs were captured on video and sent to a competition organised recently by MediaCorp. But thanks to Singapore’s many campaigns, Mr Lee said things have improved over the years.
“Sometimes people laugh at us. But actually these are things we can work on and improve. And if we make people aware of their behaviour and conscious of their impact on others, we can educate them and gradually they can learn new habits,” he said.
Major events, such as the ongoing Beijing Olympics, have provided opportunities for host countries to work on their Ps and Qs.
Likewise, said Mr Lee, the upcoming Formula One night race, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation next year and the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 will give Singaporeans a chance to showcase their spirit and warmth.
Singaporeans had already shown what they could do when they rallied together to support their country’s bid for the YOG.
According to a survey, one thing Singaporeans are good at is saying ‘thank you’ after being served. But what we don’t seem to do enough of is clearing tables and returning food trays. Mr Lee said more work is needed to get rid of these bad habits, especially as the country prepares itself for 2010.
The prime minister said Singaporeans should move towards a permanent shift in social behaviour, so that the city becomes more liveable for all.
Channel News Asia