Union thanks retired seamen at Chinese New Year lunch

 Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, accompanied by Singapore Organisation of Seamen general secretary Kam Soon Huat, presenting Hong Baos to 80 residents from welfare homes.
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, accompanied by Singapore Organisation of Seamen general secretary Kam Soon Huat, presenting Hong Baos to 80 residents from welfare homes.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Retired seaman Oh Wah Keng, 75, touches the headdress of God of Fortune for good luck after receiving a festive gift.
Retired seaman Oh Wah Keng, 75, touches the headdress of God of Fortune for good luck after receiving a festive gift.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say speaks during the Lunar New Year Celebration lunch.
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say speaks during the Lunar New Year Celebration lunch.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Around 1,000 people attended the annual Chinese New Year celebration lunch held by the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) union and Seacare Co-operative on Friday (Feb 12).

The two organisations thanked 279 retired seamen for their support for the union and contribution to Singapore's trade and economy in the pioneer years, presenting them with red packets of $100 each.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, the guest of honour, also presented red packets of $50 each to 80 residents from four welfare homes - AWWA Community Home for Senior Citizens, Jamiyah Home for the Aged (Darul Takrim), Sree Narayana Mission Home for the Aged Sick and Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens.

Members of the shipping community, unions and associations took part in the celebration at Raffles City Convention Centre, which included lion dances, wushu performances and the traditional lo hei.


(from left) Singapore White Group Executive Chairman Peh Chin Hua, Singapore Shipping Association Executive Director Michael Phoon, Singapore Organisation of Seamen President Mohamad Abu Bakar, Singapore Organisation of Seamen advisor Zulkifli Mohammed, Ministry of Manpower director for industrial relations Felix Ong Kah Ann, NTUC Central Committee president Mary Liew, Singapore Organisation of Seamen general secretary Kam Soon Huat, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, Singapore Organisation of Seamen executive advisor Leow Ching Chuan, NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Heng Chee How, and Chip Eng Seng Corporation chairman Lim Tiam Seng do a lohei during the Lunar New Year Celebration lunch. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SOS president Mohamad Abu Bakar said in a welcome speech that issues of general safety on board ships, even those used for ordinary everyday activities, have to be taken very seriously.

"Recent cases of negligence on board passenger and merchant ships have resulted in heavy and unnecessary losses," he said.

"We continue to work with our regional affiliates to put in place more apparatus to enhance the safety of seafarers working on board.

"We hope the working and living conditions onboard ships will become better and better for seafarers."