Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat at SCCCI’s Mid-Autumn Celebration at Hill Street on 10 September 2022.
今年的中秋联欢晚会特别有意义，因为活动有三个“第一”。 这是中华总商会自疫情以来第一次举办实体的中秋联欢晚会。这也是高会长领导的第61届董事会主办的第一个中秋联欢晚会。更让人高兴的是，这是我们第一次在翻新后的总商会馆举办中秋联欢晚会! 中华总商会可说是“三喜临门”！
新设立的 总商会 华商文化馆 充分展示了总商会对新加坡所做出的种种贡献。例如，政府当年实施国民服役时，总商会鼎立支持，为入伍青年制作 “尽忠报国”的纪念章。新馆将展出这些纪念章和其它珍贵文物，这是非常有意义的。
Let me say a few words in English.
This year’s mid-autumn festival is a special one. There are three “firsts”. It is the first time that SCCCI is holding a physical celebration since COVID-19. It is also the first time that Choon Keng and his team are organising the festival, after the 61st council was inaugurated earlier this year. And of course, this is also the first time that we are holding the mid-autumn festival in the refurbished SCCCI building. My warmest congratulations to SCCCI!
SCCCI has played an important role in our country’s history. I was reminded of this when I came for your launch ceremony of the Hill Street Virtual Heritage Trail in February this year, on the first day of Chinese New Year. During the pandemic, SCCCI and other chambers also played an active role in giving valuable feedback to the government, including in my budget consultations when I was in the Ministry of Finance. Many of your contributions are now documented in your new Chinese Business Culture Hub, and I hope it serves as a platform for younger Singaporeans to know more about our history.
One of the most unique features of Singapore is how we have retained our multicultural character over the years. SCCCI has done your part in supporting all races to progress together. For example, you have given out almost 2000 scholarships to students from lower-income families, across all races. I am also delighted to see friends from other races at this evening’s event. It is wonderful that in Singapore, we are able to celebrate each other’s festivals, and find joy in our diversity.
As we look ahead, we can do so with optimism. We have retained a strong sense of unity throughout the pandemic over past two years. But we also benefited greatly from our forefathers’ foresight and sense of responsibility, in setting aside reserves for future generations.
A sense of unity, a commitment to future generations – these are values dear to all Singaporeans. And as we celebrate the mid-autumn festival tonight, we also celebrate these values.
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