Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day 2020 message in full

Singapore celebrated its 55th National Day on 9 August 2020. The celebrations this year were very different from past years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the nation watched the annual National Day Parade through their screens instead of having the usual big show.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the adjustments to National Day, as well more critical issues like the economic challenges that lie ahead, in his National Day 2020 message. Read his speech in full here:
My fellow Singaporeans,
Every year, rain or shine, Singaporeans come together on the 9th of August for the National Day Parade, to celebrate the making of our nation, and renew our commitment to Singapore.
National Day Parade
I have been privileged to attend almost every NDP since the first in 1966. One of the Parades I took part in was in 1968 at the Padang. The rain poured down, but the contingents stood steady, and marched past proudly, drenched, yet undaunted. We showed ourselves and the world that Singaporeans were rugged people, and had the steel in us to stand firm in adversity. Five years ago, SG50 was another memorable Parade. We celebrated our Golden Jubilee, and what we had achieved in Singapore. We also paid tribute to our founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. We mourned his passing that year, but also affirmed what he and the pioneer leaders stood for.
In good years, our parades rejoice in our progress, and look forward to a better future together.
In difficult years, we still hold National Day Parades, to renew our resolve to weather the storm and take Singapore through to better days.
This year, National Day falls amidst COVID-19. We are not able to celebrate in our usual way, but we are determined still to hold the Parade as a symbol of our unity as a nation, like we have done every year since independence. We will have a smaller Parade at the Padang, and also ceremonies at seven other locations around the island this morning. Each location will symbolise one aspect of our response to COVID-19 – Providing medical care for Singaporeans at NCID; supporting our workforce with skills and jobs at the Lifelong Learning Institute; keeping learning going for our students at North Vista Secondary School; or sustaining our community spirit at Kampung Admiralty. We look forward to Singaporeans across the island, and also in far-flung lands, joining the Parade virtually and celebrating with one another. We will all share special moments like when the Red Lions land, the mobile column reaches our town, or the State Flag is flown past. We will all recite the Pledge and sing Majulah Singapura in our hearts together.
Stories of everyday heroes
This NDP is also an opportunity for us to salute those on our frontline, fighting COVID-19.
Many of them have gone way beyond the call of duty, and shown great generosity of spirit. Retired doctors and nurses volunteered to come back, donning PPE to serve on the front lines, in hospitals and migrant worker dormitories. Full-time national servicemen extended their terms to continue supporting COVID-19 operations. Public officers volunteered to be redeployed to organise and look after the migrant workers. Many Singaporeans stepped up to help others in need. Some went door to door distributing meals and groceries to the elderly and low-income households. Others refurbished donated laptops for needy students, for home-based learning. Thousands of public-spirited Singaporeans volunteered to be trained for swab operations. They served in the hot zones, including the dormitories and community care facilities. Migrant workers too played their part to support these operations. Their help was deeply appreciated by our SAF, Home Team and public officers.
These selfless acts have made all the difference to our response to COVID-19.
Bracing for economic difficulties ahead
We will need this unity and resilience more than ever. The crisis is far from over. Many countries brought COVID-19 under control and eased restrictions, only to see their cases rise sharply again. This can happen to us too, despite all our precautions. It will most likely take a year or two before a va…
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