Singaporeans must remain united to tackle future challenges: Yaacob

Associate Professor Yaacob Ibrahim handing out oranges and delivering his festive wishes to needy residents from Jalan Besar GRC and Potong Pasir SMC at Harmony Night.
Associate Professor Yaacob Ibrahim handing out oranges and delivering his festive wishes to needy residents from Jalan Besar GRC and Potong Pasir SMC at Harmony Night. PHOTO: KRETA AYER-KIM SENG CITIZENS’ CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans of all races and backgrounds must continue to cultivate mutual understanding and harmony, and festive occasions like Chinese New Year are good opportunities for everyone to come together.

This was the message from Associate Professor Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information & Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, to about 500 elderly residents of Jalan Besar GRC and Potong Pasir SMC, who were gathered in Chinatown on Saturday (Jan 21) for dinner and cultural performances.

"The times are going to get tougher, but I think the most important thing that puts us in a good position to deal with the challenges is to stay united...We must make sure that no one is left behind," said Prof Yaacob.

Volunteers from about 30 clan associations, religious groups and corporate sponsors came together to entertain some 500 residents at Harmony Night, which was held at a car park next to Sago Lane as part of the Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2017.

They came from organisations like the Singapore Kwangtung Hui Kuan, Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple and Fairfield Methodist Church.

Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office; Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng, mayor of the Central Singapore District; and Dr Lily Neo, adviser to Jalan Besar GRC, attended the event.