PM Lee at the Ang Mo Kio GRC - Sengkang West SMC Citizenship Ceremony on 24 October 2015.
Our new citizens, grassroots leaders, friends, ladies and gentlemen. A very good morning to all of you.
I am very happy today to be here to welcome new citizens from the Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang West constituencies. This morning, we have 200 new citizens being presented with their certificates and pink ICs, including among them, 20 whole families, and including quite a number of young ones – 10 of you who are 16 years old or younger.
Many of you have known Singapore for a long time, because you have lived here, you have worked here, you have got families here, you have struck roots here. Like Mr Zawadzki Dariusz Andrzej from Jalan Kayu. He came from America but he has been resident in Singapore since 1997, nearly 20 years. Married a Singaporean wife, Mdm Samantha Kho, 18 years ago and they have a son who is 14 years old, already Singaporean – born Singaporean. Others have come here as a whole family, spent some time here and settled down. Like Mr and Mrs Lee Kwai Mun, and their son, Chun Yin from Cheng San-Seletar. Originally from Malaysia, they have stayed here for 24 years. Chun Yin was born here and studying in NUS High now, going to do NS next year. Many of you are already active in your communities, like Mr and Mrs Vardharj Sunder Moorthy, who are both active Grassroots leaders in Teck Ghee. Mr Moorthy in the Teck Ghee Community Club’s Indian Activity Executive Committee (IAEC) and Mrs Moorthy serving in Teck Ghee Residents’ Committee (RC) Zone ‘J’ for the last eight years as a grassroots volunteer. Another one is Mr Jayaram Amoss, and his wife Mdm Thangamlar d/o Rammorthy. Mr Amoss came to Singapore from India back in 1997 and manages an engineering company. His wife Mdm Thangamalar is the Head of the English Department in Catholic High School, my old school, and would have taught many generations of Singaporeans and school children by now.
So I am very happy to present all of you with the citizenship certificates and ICs today as you adopt Singapore as your home and family. You have prepared for this a long time, you have come thus far, and this is the final step in your citizenship journey. As Mr S Rajaratnam said long ago, “Being a Singaporean is not a matter of ancestry, it is conviction and choice.” Because all of you have spent time here, and you have made this choice, so I welcome you and your family. Welcome to all of you!
Many of you have come from different backgrounds, but each of you have spent time here and decided to make this your home. You have decided, I hope, not just because this is a comfortable place, and a safe and secure place to bring up your family, but also, I hope, because you believe in Singapore and identify yourself with what we stand for in Singapore. We stand for a multi-racial society, a nation of opportunity, a fair and just society, a place where tomorrow is always better than today.
That is what we have been celebrating this year in SG50. Because we celebrate how our forefathers, who came from different lands like you, determined that there would be a Singapore here, and set out to build it. We celebrate how they slogged, served, and sacrificed so that the next generation could have better lives. We commit ourselves to build on what they have done, to continue striving, always to do better, always to take Singapore forward.
Now that you are citizens, you are helping us to write the Singapore Story together. I hope you will play your part, add your own distinct experiences, skills, abilities, contributions to the Singapore Story, and together, make a better future here for all of us.
Thank you very much.
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