DPM Heng Swee Keat at the Launch of Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer 2020

DPM Heng Swee Keat | 19 September 2020

Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the Launch of Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer on 19 September 2020.


Good afternoon.

Thank you for taking part in the Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer.

Due to COVID-19, the Race is conducted virtually this year. This is a creative way to adapt to the times. Participants can run at your convenience, anywhere in Singapore, anytime during the nine days.

Your participation in this virtual race is a show of our resilience. Much as we will not let the virus overcome us and disrupt our lives, this is an encouragement to all patients that they must not let cancer defeat them. As you run, you are also contributing towards the Race’s mission to ‘minimise cancer and maximise life’. Every stride that you take goes towards raising funds to save lives.

Cancer is a major illness that strikes almost 15,000 people in Singapore annually, but with advancements in medicine, the prognosis for cancer has improved very significantly. Many patients recover and go on to lead long and meaningful lives.

Cancer can pose a tremendous burden on patients and their families, financially and emotionally. This is why support for patients is critical to help them tide through treatment and recovery. The Singapore Cancer Society has a big role to play, helping patients and their families financially, including tuition programmes and education financial assistance, and in rehabilitation and support services for cancer survivors.

It is especially heartening to see cancer survivors volunteering as Patient Ambassadors to support newly diagnosed patients in their recovery journey. In addition, a key strategy to tackling cancer is prevention and early detection. The Society has contributed in a big way through free cancer screening services, and its many public education and community outreach programmes. More than 100,000 people benefitted from your programmes and support last year.

To fund these efforts, the Society seeks to raise $20 million each year. They have been able to do so through generous donations from businesses and the community, including from corporate sponsors like Singtel, and all of you who are taking part or have donated generously to the Race. This is the spirit of the Singapore Together movement, with all of us doing our part to help those around us. We can achieve so much more when we do it together.

Wherever you are, do remember to practise safe distancing, stay hydrated and stay safe.