Every school must promote tolerance, openness: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong raising a ceremonial toast at Hwa Chong Institution's 100th anniversary gala dinner yesterday. With him were (from far left) Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu; MP Lim
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong raising a ceremonial toast at Hwa Chong Institution's 100th anniversary gala dinner yesterday. With him were (from far left) Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu; MP Lim Wee Kiak; Senior Minister of State for Education Chee Hong Tat; Senior Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Sim Ann; event organising chairman Jimmy Ng; and HCJC alumni president Ronald Tay.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday underlined how maintaining multicultural exchanges is critical to promoting cohesion and integration in society.

Speaking at Hwa Chong Institution's 100th anniversary gala dinner, PM Lee noted that while the school has few non-Chinese students, it has striven to give its students the opportunity to mix with peers of different backgrounds through various activities.

Every school should promote the spirit of openness and tolerance, he added, because it helps preserve the foundation of Singapore's multiracial and multicultural society. In his speech, PM Lee traced the school's history and urged its students to contribute to the society and system that has nurtured them.

More than 12,000 alumni, staff and students attended the celebration last night at Hwa Chong's campus in Bukit Timah.

Together with the centennial, the school is also launching the Kuo Chuan Centennial Art Gallery Project. The gallery will house the works of pioneer artists who were Hwa Chong teachers such as Liu Kang, Chen Wen Hsi and Chen Chong Swee, who blended Eastern and Western styles to create a distinctive "Nanyang style" art form.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2019, with the headline 'Every school must promote tolerance, openness: PM Lee'. Print Edition | Subscribe