Transcript of speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Ang Mo Kio GRC - Sengkang West SMC Citizenship Ceremony on 23 September 2018.
Friends, residents, new citizens, ladies and gentlemen. A very good morning to all of you. Very happy to join all of you here today for the Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang West Citizenship Ceremony.
150 of you are officially becoming Singapore citizens today. It is a significant milestone in your lives – congratulations to all of you! You were born in different parts of the world, most probably you have lived in other countries before coming to Singapore. But you came to Singapore, and you have lived, worked or studied here, and many of you started your families here. Now, you have chosen to make Singapore your country, your home.
It is a big decision, because taking up citizenship is a deep commitment. It sets the course of your life, not just for yourself but your loved ones as well. It is much more than carrying a new passport. You have to take that first courageous step to put down roots here, to fit into a new society, to adapt to a new culture, and to get along with fellow citizens. In fact, you are choosing where to put the rest of your lives, where to commit your loyalties, your love, your family, and your future.
In your years in Singapore, you would already have started that process. You would have got to know your neighbours, your classmates, your colleagues and your friends. Which is why today, at the end of quite a long journey already, you can receive your pink IC and become a Singapore citizen.
This is a mutual exchange, a two-way process. Your fellow Singaporeans welcome you formally into the family today – and you will bring with you your experiences, your skills, your talents, your warmth, to enrich the diversity of our society with the cultures and outlooks, and all that you bring with you to Singapore. At the same time, naturally you have to make the effort to become a Singaporean, to contribute your part to Singapore.
Our history and our success were built on the backs of immigrants like you from far and near. People who worked hard to make a living for themselves, and then later on, deciding to make this place their home. Now, as new citizens of Singapore, your story will add to our story. This is your home now, and hopefully will remain the home of your children and your children’s children. I hope also that in time to come, you will appreciate even more why Singapore is unique, and what you can do to keep our country special and our people united.
So I encourage you to continue to deepen your roots here, because your Singapore journey is just starting out. Be an active and involved citizen, immerse yourselves in the community, take part in activities, contribute your experience and your talents. Here in the newly rebuilt Teck Ghee Community Club, you will find many opportunities to get involved and make friends. Work with other Singaporeans, care for one another, so that together we can make this an endearing home for all and for generations to come. Congratulations once again and thank you very much!
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