As Singapore commemorates its 55th National Day, it is not the most auspicious of times. The nation confronts multiple challenges outside its control such as the pandemic and geo-political tensions. And, it has to face up to these forces when there are also big domestic issues to tackle: It has to manage a political transition to a fourth generation of leaders while also attending to growing internal challenges that have created a degree of angst that was not there before. Getting to grips with these internal issues could involve difficult policy choices which could create pain in the short term but which Singapore cannot avoid.

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