05 July 2014

The Launch of PAYM Loves Red 2014 at Sengkang Community Club Hard Court – Speech by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Teo Chee Hean

Friends and Residents of Pasir Ris Punggol

Fellow MPs

Ladies and gentlemen

INTRODUCTION

1.                 I am very happy to join all of you here today to launch this year’s ‘PAYM Loves Red’ movement. In the months of July and August, many young Singaporeans from PA’s Youth Executive Committees, Youth Chapters, Teens Network Clubs as well as educational institutions will be celebrating National Day in their own unique ways.

2.               There are many creative and interesting ways for celebrating National Day under the PAYM Loves Red movement. The activities and events reflect Singaporeans’ diverse interests, hobbies, and creativity.  But rather than focusing on what is different, it is more important to build on what is common among all these activities.  These different activities help to bring Singaporeans together to celebrate National Day.  They remind us that Singapore is really about “Our People, Our Home”.  They show us how Singaporeans are united by a shared sense of national identity and pride.

3.                For example, Boon Lay CC YEC is organising sewing workshops for women from low-income families who have to stay at home to look after dependents, to provide a home employment option. At the end of the 5-week training workshop, the participants will sew products reflecting their personal experiences in line with National Day celebrations, with particular emphasis on family values and Singaporeans’ shared childhood memories.  These hand-sewn products will be sold during the Boon Lay National Day dinner with the proceeds going to the women.

4.                 Nee Soon South CC YEC and Orchid Park Secondary School students are forming a heart-shaped human formation with the Singapore flag and the message “One Heart, One Love, One Singapore”.  To show appreciation to people who have contributed to Singapore in their own different ways, they will also create a Gratitude Wall made up of postcards with appreciation messages to the school cleaners and residents in the constituency. These postcards will be displayed in their school and at Khatib Plaza, and eventually be given to the addressees.

RECOGNISING OUR PIONEERS

5.                  Here in Pasir Ris-Punggol, I am very happy that our youths have come together to pay tribute to our Pioneers as part of PAYM Loves Red. Our Pioneers have devoted many good years of their lives, working hard to build the Singapore that all of us are proud to call our Home today.

6.                 The video produced by our young residents highlights how some of our Pioneer Generation residents in Pasir Ris-Punggol continue to contribute to the community. Mr Chong Kum Yeok, who is 87 years old, has been teaching Qigong and swimming to fellow seniors for the past 18 years. Mr Chong lives his life to the full, and encourages his fellow seniors to do the same as well.

7.               Another active Pioneer Generation resident in Sengkang is Mr Chong Chee Haa, 71 years old. He is often at the Residents’ Corner of Blk 203C of Compassvale Road, and encourages fellow seniors to join in community activities and events. With the help of the Residents’ Committee, Mr Chong will also be setting up a Community Garden near the Residents’ Corner soon. And he has already recruited 3 garden hobbyists to join him.

8.                 Please join me in giving a round of applause to our Pioneers, and especially to the two Mr Chongs who are here with us today.

MESSAGE FOR OUR YOUTHS

9.                I am heartened to see that our youths in Pasir Ris-Punggol have decided to honour our Pioneers as their way to celebrate National Day.  Through closer interactions between our Pioneers and our youths, the values of our Pioneers – including perseverance, determination, teamwork, care for others – will be passed down to the next generation of Singaporeans. This will also help to strengthen our social bonds, and bring us closer as one Singaporean community.
Singapore has come this far in the past 50 years, thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of our Pioneers. What distinguishes our Pioneers is that they were prepared to build and sacrifice for the future – Our Future. They were prepared to give more than they take, so that we, their children and grandchildren will have a better future.

10.              I hope our youths will step up to the challenge, and contribute to Singapore in your own unique ways, so that together we can make Singapore our best Home for many more generations to come.

FLY OUR FLAG

11.             This year’s PAYM Loves Red movement also seeks to encourage Singaporeans to fly our Flag to celebrate National Day. People’s Association has designated today as “Flag Day”. Grassroots Organisations across the island will encourage Singaporeans to fly our Flag through various activities like door-to-door sales of the Flag and distribution of car flags. Here in Pasir Ris-Punggol, our 49 Car Ambassadors will be going around, distributing Vehicle Flags and side mirror covers with our National flag. So, please watch out for them and join in to “Fly Our Flag” as we come together as one people to celebrate Singapore’s 49th birthday this year.

12.           Let me end by thanking the Youth Executive Committees in Pasir Ris-Punggol for organising today’s PAYM Loves Red launch event.

13.            I wish everyone an enjoyable time here today. Thank you.