Mothership has kindly summarized this year PM Lee's short NDR speech.
To me I see a PM that is trying really hard to do his job well and discovering after trying his best he could still do better! I give him an A+ for trying.
Others will as usual be writing detailed analyses or critiques of his speech but blogging for myself and family I prefer to record my impressions.
I see a shrinking bottom right quadrant of his Johari Window.
This is a leader who thought he cared for his people but setbacks and adverse feedback which he found very hard to understand eventually helped him realized he could and must care more. He is fortunate to have Tharman to assist him. I could see this deputy's finger prints in so many parts of this evening speech especially on education and pursuing success. I see the outline of a newer and better meritocracy or if I recall correctly, Tharman called it a continuous meritocracy.
Update: Aug 18, 10:05am
I hope he will do what he said because there will be huge obstacles in this path. Tharman was the first to come up with such ideas. If we keep at this over many years, the paper chase will become less intense and more meaningful. Our students in school will refocus and learn to think and acquire practical skills instead of looking good in exams, which is just a deplorable waste of time and resources.
By far nobody has explained that CPF is insufficient for retirement as simply and clearly as he had and in a way that would not create a backlash without weighing the merit of the argument. Two years ago my daughter tried to propose this as her team's topic for their A levels project work. She expended herculean effort to get her team mates to come along but her young and cocky tutor just won't bite. He just hated the idea of spending most of his life working with little prospect of a long and happy retirement. This bright young teacher thought with his heart and lost his brain. How are you going to fund your living if a quarter to a third of your life you are not working? If attitudes like this Gen Y teacher becomes entrenched, we are done for.