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Netizens express skepticism over PM Wong’s call to redefine success in Singapore

Prime Minister Lawrence Wong urges a redefinition of success in Singapore, emphasizing collective well-being over material pursuits. Netizens express skepticism due to high living costs, questioning if economic policies truly prioritize citizens’ holistic well-being or reduce them to financial entities.



SINGAPORE:  In a recent video message, Prime Minister Lawrence Wong addressed the nation, urging a shift in how success is defined in Singapore.

However, the response from netizens has been mixed, with many expressing skepticism about the vision becoming a reality unless inflation and the cost of living are addressed.

Netizens emphasized that the cost of living and quality of life remain critical issues in Singapore.

PM Wong’s message, delivered on Saturday (22 June), called for a broader definition of success that goes beyond traditional academic and material achievements.

He advocated for a society where everyone is valued for who they are.

In his six-minute video, PM Wong outlined his vision for a society where every Singaporean matters.

He emphasized the collective goals he and his team of ministers hope to achieve, urging Singaporeans to move away from the traditional “5Cs” – cash, car, credit card, condominium, and country club – as measures of success.

While acknowledging that these aspirations are not inherently negative, he pointed out their adverse effects.

“We have seen how such a narrow definition of success can lead to negative consequences,” he said.

“We become more anxious and stressed, and worse, we pass this on to our children. This is not the society I want Singapore to become.”

PM Wong envisions a Singapore where everyone matters and is valued for their individuality.

“We can all strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Our success is defined by how we help each other to do well collectively,” he stated.

He emphasized that success should be about excelling at what we do today with pride and perseverance, rather than seeking status or rewards.

“My team and I want to build a society that allows space for U-turns, side-steps, slowdowns, pauses, experimentations, and outliers. We want to broaden our concept of achievement,” he said.

PM Wong also shared his personal experiences, including his initial desire to leave the government sector due to constant competition and comparison.

He called for an expanded perspective, citing healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic as examples of unsung heroes who deserve recognition alongside doctors.

“There are many unsung heroes – nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers – who put in their hearts and souls in supporting every patient’s recovery,” he said.

“To me, they are all successful role models we should look up to.”

In his concluding remarks, PM Wong urged the public to celebrate every kind of success, respect all forms of work, and never be afraid to try, even if setbacks are inevitable.

Netizens express doubts about vision amid rising living costs and inflation

In response to PM Wong’s recent video message, many netizens voiced their opinions on The Straits Times’ Facebook page, with many highlighting concerns about the cost of living and quality of life in Singapore.

One user highlighted the pressing issues of living costs and quality of life, stating, “Without improvement in these areas, there’s no point in thinking further.”

This sentiment was echoed by another user, who expressed pessimism about the vision becoming a reality unless inflation, food, housing, car prices, and the overall cost of living come down.

They added, “And not [going to happened] if Singapore is the most expensive in the world to live in. Is living under regular financial handouts and vouchers considered successful?”

On his Youtube video, one wrote, “Motherhood statements are pleasing to the ears. Can there be respect if work cannot pay for the high cost of living? The G cannot on the one hand ask us to broaden the definition of success but on the other hand allocate resources purely using economic principles.”

Another commented, “With all due respect, I think that jacking up the GST to 8% and 9% consecutively for 2 years and then telling the people not to focusing on material things is quite a funny thing to say. People are struggling to make ends meet and you are making it harder for us to live but yet telling us not to achieve so much. How we going to survive when you put us in an environment like that? It’s not just the GST. Price for Food, housing, transportation and everything else is going up. I cannot find a reason to give you my vote Sir.”

Netizen critiques government policies on foreign work pass holders

Another user criticized the government for prioritizing the benefits of foreign work pass holders over Singaporeans.

They suggested a 40 percent pay cut for ministers, with the funds redirected to support Singaporeans’ CPF payouts at age 55.

The user also called for the removal of the CPF system’s basic and full retirement sums, advocating for Singaporeans’ right to withdraw their entire CPF savings.

They also advocated for higher income tax fees for foreign work pass holders to support government expenses and reduce the reliance on Singaporeans’ CPF contributions.

Netizens question economic policies: Are Singaporeans more than economic entities?

One user raised a fundamental long-term question: “Do the PAP’s long-term economic and financial policies define everyone living in Singapore as an economic entity or as a real-life person with a soul and a mind?”

The user elaborated, questioning the concept of an economic entity.

“An economic entity refers to defining a person as an ATM machine or a CPF ATM machine. This definition treats everyone living in Singapore as a number in terms of money throughout their entire life.”

The user described this notion further, explaining that it reduces individuals to their financial contributions and expenditures.

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What he meant is success is one’s definition. Move away from the usual 5C chase. Just like people here all days talk LJ and shit they can consider themselves successful as long as they feel happy and satisfied and imagine they can sway votes. Getting pofma also can consider a success as you gain attention and your message is vitally impactful.

One hand appears to do good to be seen publicly while the right hand do business in the dark, how to trust such a man? At the end of the day, he has to maintain and build up his fat coffer. Success will always be defined by his role in power that’s why as pm he heads the finance and business/ investment arms As the philosopher once said, as a man thinketh so is he. As your head is obsessed with, so you are and become as a people – hypocritical and souless Any other good natured deviation is just… Read more »

I like the summary by wee below


But lower our expectations of what? Would that be lower our demands or of what PAP can offer to the true blue citizens?

Either way, I challenged if there is any room for further lowering for something that’s already rock bottom.

So wayang and Kelong show, hor.

Highest paid PM in the world, had 20 years of OJT, surrounded himself with the most expensive cabinet to carry balls, had a super long runway, 2 ex-PM to hold his hands, got the WORST election results in SG history, unable to stand alone without daddy, called voters Free Riders …. yet couldn’t fly after near 20 years at the helm. Yes, our leadership definition of success is definitely flawed.

The “natural aristocrats” wants the majority of us locals to stay as peasants….how else will they have absolute power over us?

Last edited 21 days ago by W.A.J.

“I am determined to help Singaporeans realise your dreams,” he said in a 20-minute speech on May 15 shortly after being sworn into office.

Most likely won’t come true, so we should keep on dreaming…有夢最美

Last edited 21 days ago by Alan in TW

His speecs can be summarised in 3 words …


… Continue from last message… They rather collude with foreign entities for greater monetary gains on the expenses of citizens for “their greater good”. So we have to tighten our belts and struggled to make ends meet while the ruling party prosper by helping foreigners exploit true blue citizens. LW is not in the position to tell the citizens to look away from traditional benchmarks of success while he and his ministers lead a luxurious life of wealth and high salary fulfilled by working with the foreigners. Foreigners are here hiring their own kinds with the approval of pap stealing… Read more »

I can see why many express skepticism and found hypocrisy in LWs’ speech. In his speech he calls for success that goes beyond traditional academic and material achievements. But these are the very things that pap system were built upon. You need to have good grades to go to universities then get good jobs to make more money. Isn’t our scholarship based on that too? Then every controls pap put in place boils down to some form of monetary penalty for the citizens, from simple fines to coe and absd. Everything is about PAP, ie. pay and pay, you get… Read more »

Do as I say, not as I do. Go f yourself, Mr Wrong.

Redefine success? How about to make Millions $$ like Ministers and PM? And incompetent?

Jobs for foreigners.

Nation Service for Singaporeans . What is new?

What is new? same tape recorder?

same white wine from the same bottle will taste the same.

In 2023, 94.5% of jobs created went to foreigners, 5.5% to Singaporeans. And LW instead talks about redefining success metrics. Really questionable if he understand priorities for Singaporeans???

They enacted legislation to prevent persons from standing as a Presidential election candidate, unless they are SUPER successful head of a business entity or successful politicians that had made the minister grade.

Yet they tell you to moderate the notion of your own success in this island!

Do you see, how they play mind games?!

Last edited 21 days ago by Chi Can

Lawless Wong just moved the goal posts when he lost the game.

His previous ball players wanted to win too, bribed the referee, bought more and more expensive players, told Singaporeans they are world class players, in the end nothing is won, they BLAMED the Soccer Ball inferior unlike the ball they trained, and shot penalty with, they BLAMED the GRASS, they BLAMED 90 minutes not enough, and they blamed FIFA bcz SA Goal 2010 competition schedule time frame NOT suitable.