Remarks by Mr Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, at the Chinatown CNY 2023 Opening and Light-Up Ceremony on 3 January 2023.
My Cabinet and Parliamentary Colleagues,
Community Partners and Residents,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening and Happy New Year to everyone! We just had our countdown not too long ago to usher in 2023, and today is just the first working day of the new year. But according to the Lunar Calendar, the Chinese New Year starts early this year. So I am very happy to join all of you tonight for the lighting up of Chinatown.
The Chinatown light-up is a proud Singaporean tradition. We have been doing this for more than 20 years. But this year’s ceremony is extra special. Because for the past two years, we have not been able to gather in large groups, we have not had the same festive fare that all of you are so used to, because of Covid restrictions. So the celebrations have been muted and it was not quite the same spirit as before. But this year, finally, we have been able to resume all our activities, and we can have a full festive atmosphere to usher in the new year. So we have much to be grateful for, and much to rejoice. In particular, I would like to thank everyone in the Chinatown Festival Organising Committee for your contributions in putting together this year’s activities. Let us give them a big round of applause.
I am sure there will be continued challenges and uncertainties in this Year of the Rabbit. But in times of adversity and difficulties, there will also be new opportunities to develop and to grow. So if we continue to stay united as a country, and we work together as one people, as we have done over the past three years of tackling Covid-19, I am confident that we can build a brighter future and a better Singapore together.
On that note, let me wish everyone a happy Lunar New Year. May this Year of the Rabbit bring good health, happiness and success to all of you.
Thank you very much. Let me continue with a few words in Mandarin as well.
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