Singapore's billing as a safe, multicultural society should never be taken for granted, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Saturday, citing the ongoing turmoil in Cairo, Egypt.
He added that youth, when inculcated with sound values such as gratitude, kindness and filial piety, will bring the country to greater heights.
"The best is yet to come," he said at the end of a 10-minute address at a National Day commemoration event held by local non-profit entity Blossom World Society. Mr Khaw had also penned in its guestbook upon arrival: "Gratitude is the first step to love and happiness."
The event concluded with a mass candlelight procession of 3,868 participants, including youth and their family members, that entered the Singapore Book of Records. In the segment, Mr Khaw passed the flame of his "candle of hope" to the youth, which organisers said symbolises the spurring of a younger generation to do their bid for nation building.
Blossom World Society volunteer, Nanyang Technological University undergraduate Ooi Ching Fei, 24, said Mr Khaw's speech resonated with him. "The concept 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you' is something that, if widely adopted, will lead to a harmonious society," he said, adding that graciousness and an open mindset are also key to conflict resolution.