The creation of a brighter future for young Singaporeans and the empowerment of the people in their silver years were among the issues highlighted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong while delivering his Chinese New Year message.
“Honouring seniors and nurturing the young are not limited to individual families but are values and attitudes that hold the society together,” said PM Lee about the Singaporean society.
“As a people too, we should look after the elderly as we are the beneficiaries of their labours, and care for the young who carry our hopes for the future,” he said.
Giving special emphasis to caring for the elderly, PM Lee said, “Singapore’s society is ageing, and the Government is working to enable Singaporeans to lead active and meaningful lives in their silver years, which means creating strong social support and community networks, keeping them socially engaged and building up healthcare systems and services.
Speaking about giving the best to young Singaporeans, the Prime Minister said, “We strive to give our children the best chances in life. We are fortunate to live in Asia – a dynamic and fast-growing region. We should prepare ourselves to seize the many economic opportunities around us. We should make full use of new technologies, to progress with our partners and neighbours. We will help our young to uncover their diverse talents, and invest heavily in them through education and training, so that when they grow up they can strike out on their own, build their own families and careers, and fulfil their aspirations and dreams.”
PM Lee added that investments will be made to build the city and infrastructure and upgrade the living environment and economy, so that the next generation can continue to create new possibilities, prosper and flourish.
“We should uphold our time-tested Asian values of thrift, self-reliance, and leaving something more for our children, instead of burdening them with their parents’ debts. We must always think beyond the immediate and beyond ourselves, to look and plan over the horizon on behalf of future generations,” he said.
Speaking about the importance of the close link of family in the celebration of Chinese New Year, PM Lee said, “The Chinese New Year is about family. The many Chinese New Year traditions passed down from generation to generation are steeped in family values. Families gather on Chinese New Year’s eve for reunion dinners. Even those who are abroad will make an effort to connect with their families back home and celebrate this special occasion together. We stay up through the night to see the year in for our parents’ longevity and give our children red packets for good fortune.
“These customs reflect the enduring hopes of every generation, that our aging parents live well in their silver years, and our children grow up happy and successful, in a peaceful and prosperous world,” he added.
He also made a call for Singaporeans to build their shared future together so generations of Singaporeans can look forward to more prosperous and joyous Chinese New Years.