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An invitation to renew vows

Call for Singaporeans to re-dedicate themselves to building better nation

Published on May 17, 2014 11:29 PM

IF THE relationship between government and citizens can be compared to a marriage, then the President's speech last night was an invitation to renew wedding vows as the couple prepare to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

The occasion itself, the Opening of Parliament, is a formal ceremony at which by convention, President Tony Tan Keng Yam, as the head of state, reads out a speech prepared for him by the Government setting out its agenda for the rest of its term.

Last night's speech though reached out to touch not just the intellects but also the hearts of Singaporeans. It recalled the depth of feeling and the shared dream that started the Government and people on this journey together.

Back in 1965, when President Yusof Ishak opened the first Parliament of a newly independent Singapore, he held out the hope of a "tolerant society, multiracial, multireligious, multilingual, welded ever closer together by ties of common experience", President Tan said, addressing a packed chamber that included Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the only member of today's Parliament who was present when those words were first spoken.

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Background story

Singapore's "best years lie ahead".

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