Speech by DPM and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, at the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations 16th Council investiture ceremony on 7 October 2018.
然而，宗乡总会还是能成为我们的重要桥梁。我想提出三个建议：第一，人民之间的桥梁; 第二，新旧之间的桥梁; 和第三，国家之间的桥梁。
第三，国家之间的桥梁。宗乡总会对中国有深厚的了解，在中国保持了很多关系和网络。宗乡总会能够加强我们两国人民之间的交流，以增强互信和了解。我也希望宗乡总会能提供更多的奖学金和实习机会，让年轻的新加坡人在中国学习与工作。在上个月的新中双边合作联委会 (或JCBC) 会议上，中国副总理韩正和我也讨论了这一点，并同意多加推动。这能为我们培养下一代的双语、双文化、并且了解中国的新加坡人，让他们继续为新中关系做出贡献。
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English Translation of Chinese Speech
“Serving as Three Bridges for Singapore”
Honorary President Chua Thian Poh,
President Tan Aik Hock,
Good afternoon everyone！
I am pleased to attend the Investiture Ceremony for the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA)’s 16th Council.
Clan associations have always played a key role in our community. In the early years, clan associations provided support and help to new immigrants, and even established schools and hospitals.
Today’s Singapore has come a long way. Our economy is developing well, and our people enjoy a better quality of life.
Nevertheless, SFCCA can still be an important bridge for us. I would like to raise three suggestions: first, a bridge between our people; second, a bridge between new and old; and third, a bridge between countries.
First, a bridge between our people. Our multiracial society and multicultural traditions are what make Singapore unique. We should preserve our excellent cultural traditions, and pass them on from generation to generation. SFCCA has organised many activities to promote Chinese culture, while connecting with the other cultures that make up Singapore, to strengthen Singapore’s unique multi-cultural society.
Second, a bridge between new and old. SFCCA needs to continue to reinvent itself and attract more youths in order to keep up with the times. I hope SFCCA can continue to introduce more innovative programmes and strengthen exchanges with our youth. SFCCA has also been actively helping to assimilate new immigrants into our society. SFCCA should continue to create opportunities for new immigrants to better understand Singapore’s customs and culture, and to deepen interactions.
Third, a bridge between countries. SFCCA has a deep understanding of China and maintains many connections and networks in China. SFCCA can strengthen the people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, to foster greater mutual trust and understanding. I hope that SFCCA will continue to provide scholarships and internship opportunities, to allow more young Singaporeans to study and work in China. This was one of the initiatives that both PRC Vice Premier Han Zheng and I discussed at the Joint Council on Bilateral Cooperation (or JCBC) meeting last month, and agreed to promote more of. This will help us to groom the next generation of bilingual and bicultural Singaporeans who understand China, and who can continue to make contributions to our bilateral relations.
Here, I thank Mr Chua Thian Poh and the 15th Council for your contributions. I congratulate Mr Tan Aik Hock on your appointment as the President, and to the 16th Council on being elected. I look forward to SFCCA keeping up the good work, and working more closely with the Government and our people, to create an even better future for Singapore.
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