Prime Minister of Singapore
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore's economy held steady in 2013 amidst global uncertainty, with a higher than expected 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent growth forecast for the year. Unemployment also remained low and steady progress was made in a number of significant areas including housing, where queues for HDB flats were cleared and Build-To-Order flat prices stabilised; and transport, where the rush-hour crush was mitigated by more buses on the road and free early-morning MRT rides into the city. Our Singapore Conversation, the national conversation initiated by PM Lee at his National Day rally in 2012, meanwhile, continues to be a success — by the time Singapore celebrated its National Day in 2013, the initiative had engaged nearly 50,000 people. Looking ahead, Singapore's third prime minister has committed his government to doing more to enable every Singaporean to succeed, through education and lifelong learning. Among other things, the government will help those from families with less get off to a good start in life; tackle the cost of living, especially for the elderly; and foster a more equal society by helping every family afford their own HDB flat and giving low-income workers a better deal through Workfare. Lee began his career in the Singapore army, rising quickly through the ranks to become the youngest Brigadier-General in Singapore's history in July 1983. Earlier that year, he had been in command of the rescue operations following the Sentosa Cable Car Disaster. Lee has been a Member of Parliament for Teck Ghee since 1984 and a member of the Cabinet since 1987. He has also served as Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. Lee succeeded Goh Chok Tong to become Singapore's third Prime Minister in August 2004, and was sworn in for a second term in 2011.