SM Teo Chee Hean at the Tzu Chi 58th Anniversary and Buddha Day Celebration

SM Teo Chee Hean | 13 May 2024

Transcript of remarks by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean at the Tzu Chi 58th Anniversary and Buddha Day Celebration on 12 May 2024.


我的国会同事政务部长刘燕玲, 苏慧敏女士,连荣华先生,

大家傍晚好。 我很高兴参加今晚的慈济五十八周年庆和浴佛大典。

新加坡是个多元种族和多元宗教的社会。我们的团结与和谐来之不易,十分宝贵, 不能当成是理所当然的。






As we look around the world today, we see that it is beset with strife and conflict. It is a very sad situation in the world. From terrible and tragic wars in Europe and the Middle East, to the so-called “culture wars” dividing societies, including in advanced developed countries. These differences are tearing societies apart. It seems as though different groups are looking for differences between each other in order for us to strive and conflict.

Here in Singapore, we have worked hard together to build a harmonious and cohesive society. We learn to respect, accommodate, and adapt to each other. We learn to seek out the common humanity that unites all of us, and work together on our common aspirations — a peaceful society, a better life for ourselves and our children. In our response to these terrible wars and conflicts going on around the world today, we do not allow the quarrels of others to be imported into Singapore so that we do not allow them to end up becoming quarrels among us and among communities within our own country. Instead of letting such tragic events elsewhere divide us, we have united our efforts to help bring relief to the victims who are suffering. We do this together regardless of race, language and religion. We made this a a cause for unity, rather than a reason for quarrelling and disunity. This is an important quality of Singapore society.

Tzu Chi’s work embodies this philosophy of uniting for the common good. For the past 30 years, Tzu Chi has been teaching and encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to bring relief to others and for the betterment of our society. Tzu Chi is also a member of the Racial and Religious Harmony Circle in Pasir Ris, bringing together different religious groups in Pasir Ris to promote mutual understanding and mutual respect. Through your work, you have played an important and useful role in fostering our society’s cohesion.

Once again, I congratulate Tzu Chi for all the good work you have done over the past three decades. Let us continue here in Singapore with our work of community building and uplifting the vulnerable and those who need extra support.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all mothers a Happy Mothers’ Day!

Thank you very much. 谢谢大家。


English translation of Mandarin portion

My Parliamentary colleagues, MOS Low Yen Ling, Ms Hany Soh, and Mr Liang Eng Hwa
Religious Representatives from IRO
Mr Low Swee Seh, Managing Director of Buddhist Tzu Chi Merit Organization (Singapore)
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening everyone. Thank you for inviting me to join you for Tzu Chi’s 58th Anniversary and Buddha Day Celebration.

Singapore is a multi-racial and multi-religious society. The unity and harmony we enjoy is hard-earned and precious; we must not take it for granted.

Around the world we see conflict and division. There are wars in Europe and the Middle East, and conflicts of identity and ideology in many countries, including developed countries.

Community and religious groups have an important role to play in promoting mutual understanding and respect, and countering divisive influences. This is important work, because social harmony and unity is the foundation on which we can create better lives for everyone in our society.

Tzu Chi helps strengthen the bonds of our society by addressing important social needs in Singapore. For the past 30 years, Tzu Chi Singapore has provided assistance to vulnerable Singaporeans. Tzu Chi also promotes multi-racial and multi-religious harmony as a member of the Pasir Ris Town Racial and Religious Harmony Circle. This work broadens the common space between social groups.

I encourage Tzu Chi to continue its good work of promoting kindness, compassion, and tolerance. Together, we can strengthen our bonds as a society and build a better future for all.

Happy Buddha Day and to all our mothers a Happy Mothers’ Day!