Launched on 22 February 1991, The Next Lap is a government document that sets out the framework for Singapore's development over the next 20 to 30 years. It was released as the principal addendum to the presidential address to parliament on 22 February, and made public in a 160-page book titled Singapore: The Next Lap. The book contains ideas and proposals for transforming Singapore into a nation of distinction in the 21st century. Included in the publication were ideas that aimed to capitalise or improve the country’s existing assets in eight key areas: people, quality of education, the economy, land use, arts and sports, the underprivileged, Singaporeans based overseas, and national security.
One key proposal highlighted in The Next Lap was for the establishment of a third university that could either be a state-funded institution or a private university linked to a prestigious overseas institution. Another proposal was for the creation of research institutes that would help advance the research and development of local companies so that they could specialise and become leaders in specific niche markets such as nanotechnology and pharmaceutical. Other proposals included the plan to extend the Mass Rapid Transit line to Woodlands; development plans to provide housing to a population of up to four million people; the target to provide 10 years of basic education to every Singaporean child; the setting up of a National Institute of Education to train teachers; and the implementation of an Edusave scheme that would offer an annual grant to every child to pay for school-related courses.
The proposals in The Next Lap were crafted by the Long Term National Development Committee, which was formed in 1989 by then First Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and chaired by then Acting Minister for Information and the Arts George Yeo. The committee, which comprised ministers of state and top civil servants, drew on the ideas put forth in the past by various government and private groups. These ideas came from reports such as Vision 1999 (1984), Economic Committee (1986), Agenda for Action (1988) and the 1989 reports of the six advisory councils on the disabled, the aged, sports and recreation, youth, culture and the arts, and family and community life.
1.Govt unveils its vision of a future S’pore. (1991, February 23). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary debates: Official report. (1991, February 22). President’s Address (Vol. 57, col. 5–14). Singapore: Govt. Printer. Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
3. Singapore: The next lap (p. 47). (1991). Singapore: Published for the Government of Singapore by Times Editions. Call no.: RSING 959.5705 SIN.
4. Singapore: The next lap, 1991, p. 69.
5. Singapore: The next lap, 1991, p. 80 and 90.
6. Singapore: The next lap, 1991, p. 33, 45, 51.
7. Singapore: The next lap, 1991, p. 13.
8. Singapore: The next lap, 1991, p. 13.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.