What core values is PM Lee talking about?

What core values is PM Lee talking about? Unfortunately he didn’t specify.

The core values of a nation should normally be enshrined in its National Pledge, if any,  and in its National Anthem. Or in its constitution.

The National Anthem of Singapore is a rallying call to unite and strive for prosperity..

Implicit in the National Pledge of Singapore are core values like justice, equality and unity, Above all, the pledge is about building a democratic society based on the these three values. So democracy is also a core value but you may beg to differ.

Building and strengthening strong democratic institutions is vital to the long-term interests of Singapore. These can form bulwarks against dictatorship or authoritarianism in Singapore.

In its attempt to hang onto power, the current administration prefers not to build democracy fearing it’ll undermine its position. This is a short- sighted view besides building up resentment and hatred against it. And as demonstrated by the current Middle East unrest, we know what it can lead to.

Even if the National Pledge is merely an aspiration and not a solemn promise, as widely believed, it’s absurd that in 40 years we are still classified as a partly free nation.

Perhaps, we need another 40 years?

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4 Responses to “What core values is PM Lee talking about?”

  1. Incidentally, I also wondered what “core values” were being referred to. Initially, I thought the news report left something out, & actually checked out reports from other local sources. Turns out that it was the speaker himself who was ambiguous, & journalists obviously did not pursue further to clarify the “omitted centre”.

    As for the notion of nationhood, the grand ol’ daddy himself said recently that S’pore is still not a nation. Then his political bedfellow announced that S’pore is not a country. Well, after more than 40 years, this is indeed a cold hard truth.

    I quite suspect that in reality, there has never been any genuine intention towards nationhood. So what “core values” are there to speak of, besides those previously campaigned about along the likes of so-called Confucian values & S’pore Spirit etc. ?

    Genuine core values need not be obnoxiously tooted about, or pushed into one’s face day after day. Genuine core values are believable, achievable & apply equally to everybody (& not just the Confucian group, S’pore Inc. group, or whatever group). Sad to say, the national pledge sounded phony & hypocritical to me even when I was a kid. As I stood there silent, it felt (& feels) like being a toddler locked out of the house on purpose, while the parents switched on the tape to play messages proclaiming on repeat-mode that love is great.

  2. Good points.

    Like you, I too searched for the core values.

    Now I feel like a fool for having taken the pledge to “…build a democratic society…”. People don’t realize but no minister ever touch on this subject of democracy. Obviously, it’s not one of the PAP’s core values.

  3. from my decades of observation, one core value seems to be greed is Fantastic and needs to be assiduously encouraged.

    another seems to be, make money, no matter who is hurt and how in the process.

    a third is care for your self and your self Only; you come first, second, third, fourth, fifth….

    a fourth core value is, don’t think; don’t ask questions. obey the authorities Absolutely on Everything, and believe whatever they pronounce though all the evidence goes against it.

    a fifth is the PAP is right in everything. it does no matter how badly its policies affect citizens, nationhood, peace etc, and should therefore stay in power, no matter what. its people had A’s/triple firsts in school/uni/where ever, and know much better then everyone else though they have no clue about what real life is like for most and some were not even aware that poverty exists here until an epiphany as a result of becoming an MP.

    feel free to add on any other hard truths you believe apply.

  4. The best word to describe them is “arrogant”.


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