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Keynote Address by Mr Raymond Lim, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Foreign Affairs at The Pre-University Seminar 2005, 31 May 2005, Nanyang Technological University (cont'd)

31 May 2005

Care for Your Fellow Citizens

29. Last, you can contribute by caring for your fellow citizens. As we open up spaces for more opportunities, we have to be prepared to take more risks. More opportunities to succeed also mean more opportunities to fail. If you follow your dreams and strike out on the unbeaten path, the future becomes much less predictable because there may simply be no one in front who has done this before.

30. As we restructure our economy and create more opportunities in industries like financial services, pharmaceuticals, IT and biomedical science, it is not easy for everyone to take advantage of these.

31. How should society respond to these changes and widening disparity in incomes? The solution is not to slow everyone down so that those who need a slower pace can catch up but to help those who are lagging behind to catch up and close the gap.

32. The Government will continue to ensure that all Singaporeans have access to good education and make scholarships available for bright students from lower-income families. What is even more important is what you can do to help the less fortunate members of our society and those who need a hand to get up because they had a fall when they were running the race.

33. I am happy to know that there are many students who are passionate about helping those who are less fortunate. Students like Fiona Lim who has just graduated from RJC. She helped out weekly at the Jurong Gardens Special School, volunteered at Toa Payoh Rehabilitation Centre for stroke patients, organised camps for underprivileged children and still found time to help organise the NKF Carnival for Children's Medical Fund.

34. Even after you have graduated from junior college and enter university, I hope that you will keep contributing to the community, like the group of undergraduates and new graduates who started Re:V@MP to change young people's perception of community service and help them create projects that make a difference to the community.

35. How we treat the less fortunate in our community is a reflection of the value we place on each and every Singaporean. Paradoxically, the stronger this sense of community, the better able we are to accommodate differences and diversity. Without this, the diversity may well be divisive and pull us apart. Ultimately, it is this strong sense of community that makes opportunities possible for all.


36. Your generation will inherit a Singapore that is brimming with opportunities and excitement, both at home and aboard. There will be new cultural hubs like the remaking of the City Hall and the old Supreme Court building into art galleries. The Downtown at Marina Bay will be transformed - integrated resorts, power boat races, beautiful gardens. It will be a whole new community that will add life and vitality - day and night - to the Bay area.

37. And then there are the widening linkages to intimately connect us with the rest of the world. Already we have FTAs with the two largest economies in the world - US and Japan. And soon we will have one with India. These will give Singaporeans greater access to these markets.

38. So your world is one that will be full of possibilities - careers, ideas and causes as far as you can imagine. More that can be used up in one lifetime.

39. Your challenge in this exciting New World is to make sure that when you wake up every morning, you don't shut off the alarm and turn around for another 5 minutes sleep but to rise up with vigor and spirit to "Seize the Day!."