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Idealistic youth also must be pragmatic: Vivian Balakrishnan

Humility crucial too as young people work to advance society: Vivian

Published on May 22, 2014 9:08 AM
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, guest of honour at the NUSSU event, said: ''We have got to get that balance right if we as a society in Singapore are to survive.'' -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

In working to advance society, young people need to balance idealism with pragmatism and humility for the sake of the country, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday.

He was speaking to about 240 students and alumni, as well as pioneers from the University of Malaya and the University of Singapore, during a dinner at NUS to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the National University of Singapore Students' Union (NUSSU).

"There will always be a tension between young people who believe they have all the answers... balanced on the other hand with people who have lived life, who know what can be achieved."

Dr Balakrishnan added that although the young have a responsibility to advance the welfare of society, they cannot ascribe to themselves "the right to speak on behalf of everybody".

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