Increasing public trust important to social harmony: Singapore minister

11:16, April 17, 2010      

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Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Friday stressed the importance to rebuild trust in public institutions and leaders in the post-crisis landscape.

Speaking at the Singapore-China Forum on Leadership held here on Friday, Goh said that with the recent economic recovery, government and corporate leaders share a general sense of relief that economies had pulled back from the brink of financial abyss, but they still have a huge task in rebuilding the trust in public institutions and their leaders.

Goh said that rebuilding this trust is an important aspect of leadership. "In my mind, this trust lends more legitimacy to a government than its legal authority," he said.

Goh outlined core principles that Singapore has adopted to ensure a strong social compact.

First, remain incorruptible and maintain the moral integrity of the government. Second, speak the truth and do not cover up unpleasant facts or developments. Third, give equal opportunities to every community, and in fact, everyone, to learn, acquire skills and perform. Fourth, do what is right for the country in the long term, not what is popular or politically expedient. Finally, understand the aspirations of the people and paint a vision of the future which they can share.

He said that while there are differences in basic circumstances between China and Singapore, there are also similarities in the challenges that the two countries face. Hence both countries can learn from each other's experiences in addressing the issue of developing leadership and a harmonious society.

Themed "Harmonious Society and the Development of Leadership," the two-day forum is attended by about 80 officials from both Singapore and China.

Source: Xinhua


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