PAP's mission for Singapore more relevant than ever

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We re-produce PAP founding Secretary-General Lee Kuan Yew's foreword in the 'PAP60, Forward Together' book.

Sixty years ago, a small group of like-minded Singaporeans and I got together to form the People's Action Party. Our goal was Merdeka - independence from the British.

From November 21, 1954 onwards, we began a long, hard fight to achieve our goals. The journey took us from the colony of Singapore through merger into the Federation of Malaysia, on to separation to become the Republic of Singapore.

My colleagues and I wanted to build a fairer and more equal society.

We learnt the hard way what real politics and the fight for power were about.

We worked for and with the people. We steadfastly upheld basic principles: clean, honest and effective government, giving the job to the best man, being fair to all regardless of race, language or religion.

We spread the benefits of progress widely. We improved the lives of Singaporeans through good jobs, ownership of their HDB homes, and a brighter future for their children.

Singapore has climbed from the Third World to First. But the work is never finished. The world keeps changing, and so must we.

The PAP has stayed in power for more than half a century, because it has continually adapted itself to changes in our society and the world around us. We must keep the party dynamic, relevant and in sync with the times.

The torch has passed on to new generations of Singaporeans. Today we enjoy better lives and more opportunities, but the party's task is as vital and difficult. The party must maintain the support and trust of Singaporeans, provide the leadership to meet their aspirations, especially of the young, and work with them to create a better society and a stronger Singapore.

This 60th anniversary book chronicles the defining moments of our party. It is a tribute to the many people who have kept the PAP strong and healthy, and our nation peaceful and prosperous.

I hope it helps a younger generation to remember our past, and inspires them to look ahead to their future.

For 60 years, the PAP's mission to build a fair and just society has contributed to a better life for all Singaporeans. This mission is more relevant than ever. Our cause and our values are enduring - to build a better Singapore, for Singaporeans and with Singaporeans.

Let us continue to progress together, and strive for a brighter tomorrow.

This article was first published in the November 2014 issue of Petir Magazine

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