Wednesday, May 6, 2015Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A pioneering spirit that endures, a home that endears

President Tony Tan Keng Yam last night opened the second session of the 12th Parliament after its mid-term break. This is the text of his address.

Published on May 17, 2014 11:29 PM
President Tony Tan Keng Yam, in his address to Parliament, says: "The Pioneer Generation Package is a sincere expression of appreciation for their sacrifices and contributions. But the best way to honour our pioneers is to uphold this same pioneering spirit to dream and fight for Singapore. We must be stewards of our pioneers' success, and leave behind a better Singapore than we inherited." -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

THIS session of Parliament opens at an important moment in our history. Next year, we celebrate our Golden Jubilee. For 50 years since Independence, we have built our homes together, raised families, and helped one another as friends, neighbours and compatriots. Despite long odds, we have not only survived, but prospered. Every Singaporean can take pride in this as we celebrate as one people.

At 50, we are still a young nation, with great promise ahead.

Just as our pioneers overcame formidable obstacles with grit and determination to build today's Singapore, we too must create our Singapore of tomorrow. Our work continues - to build a fair and just society, regardless of race, language or religion; to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation. These are the founding ideals in our Pledge, which we must always uphold.

In the second half of this 12th Parliament, my Government pledges to work with all Singaporeans to address the concerns and aspirations of our people and build a better future:

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Background story

Singapore cannot be just a marketplace in the global economy. For every one of us, it is first and foremost our home: where we sink our roots, raise our families and share life's ups and downs together with one another. Singapore must be a home that endears...

We should continue to have vigorous debates on the challenges facing our nation... Everyone should join in the debates, understand the issues, share their views and argue their positions. Sometimes these debates will stir great passions, but we cannot allow our differences to pull us apart. So while we may have differing views, all sides must take a long-term perspective for the common good.