Minister Indranee Rajah at GOPIO Singapore’s Fund-Raising Dinner and 21st Anniversary Celebrations
Transcript of speech by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah at the GOPIO Singapore’s Fund-Raising Dinner and 21st Anniversary Celebrations on 30 July 2023.
Mr. Harikrishnan Muthusamy, President GOPIO Singapore
Distinguish Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen
Good evening. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to GOPIO Singapore for its 21st anniversary. This is testament to the dedication, hard work, and commitment of the GOPIO leaders and all of you.
I recall attending GOPIO Singapore’s 6th Anniversary at Cairnhill Community Club. Almost 10 years later in 2017, I attended your 15th Anniversary celebrations at the Royal Palm restaurant at Clarke Quay. And today, I’m delighted to join all of you for the 21st Anniversary celebrations.
GOPIO - SINGAPORE aims to bring People of Indian Origin (PIO) in Singapore and the World together to promote their professional, cultural and social interests with a view to realising their maximum potential in the service of global peace, prosperity, happiness, and compassion.
Today, GOPIO has presence worldwide with over 40 Chapters serving to the needs of the Indian Diaspora. It has established two entities under their purview.
First, the GOPIO International Business Council spearheads Business Interaction and Networking with PIOs, and organises business conferences to network and share business opportunities within country chapters.
Second, the GOPIO International Youth Chapter works to develop young GOPIO and PIO leaders, to continue the work of GOPIO in connecting and networking with PIOs and the Diaspora Countries and their roots in India, and to enhance knowledge and give access to global resources for the benefit of PIO youths.
GOPIO Singapore has played a pivotal role in the setup of the above entities, impacting the youths of today. For example, GOPIO Singapore works closely with community partners such as SINDA to organise biennial youth conferences, bringing PIO youths together. To integrate PIOs into the society, GOPIO Singapore organises a range of cultural and sports activities and collaborates with local Indian organisations on cultural programmes. This has helped to bring together diverse communities and foster stronger bonds between our local community and foreign PIOs.
Over the years, GOPIO Singapore has recognised deserving Indian Leaders and Contributors to the society and to the community.
My heartiest congratulations to the four award winners. These are individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication in their respective fields, and they have made many outstanding contributions.
One of them is Mr Temurnikar, Co-Founder and Chairman of Global Schools Foundation. He will be presented the Educational Entrepreneurship Award. He has contributed greatly to advancing educational opportunities and transforming the lives of countless students through his visionary leadership and innovative approach in the field of education. Mr Temurnikar is one of the many individuals who have made a positive impact on the community, and I would like to encourage others to do the same.
As GOPIO Singapore reflects on the past 21 years, it can take pride in the accomplishments achieved. From organising impactful events to implementing initiatives that improve the quality and wellbeing of the Indian Diaspora, GOPIO Singapore has made a difference.
Looking forward, one very important area in which GOPIO can play a significant role is in integration and promoting good relationships between non-resident Indians living and working here and the local population. And by local population, I mean not just the local Indian population but all Singaporeans and others living here locally as well. Integration is delicate work which requires a sensitive yet definitive touch. It is about finding shared values and commonalities and building understanding, and mutual respect. I know many of your members are already involved in such efforts and I hope that GOPIO can do even more in this regard.
On this momentous occasion, I would like to thank each and every member of GOPIO Singapore, both past and present for your contributions and dedication. For individuals, turning 21 is often seen as a coming of age and the beginning of a new life chapter. Likewise for GOPIO, I hope that this 21st year marks the beginning of a new chapter for you, and look forward to many more meaningful activities for, and by, the Indian Diaspora present in Singapore. So here’s wishing GOPIO Singapore many more successful years to come.
Thank you very much.
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