Helping companies more important than getting a 'big red packet' for Budget 2018: DPM Teo

DPM Teo Chee Hean, along with other ministers and MPs, attended the annual spring reception held by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations on Sunday (Feb 18).
DPM Teo Chee Hean, along with other ministers and MPs, attended the annual spring reception held by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations on Sunday (Feb 18).ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will be hoping for a "big red packet" from Monday's Budget - but what is more important is helping companies improve their technology and workforce, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Sunday (Feb 18).

Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, said he expects economic growth of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent this year.

He added: "Although everyone hopes for a 'big red packet', what is more important is how we continue to partner our trade associations and unions to help companies transform and develop new technologies such as in the digital economy.

"We will also help our workers to raise their knowledge and skills needed for the jobs of the future."

He was speaking at the annual spring reception held by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) and Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) which attracted almost 1,000 guests.

The event, held at the SCCC, aims to bring the community together to exchange well wishes and their hopes for the lunar new year, while sharing Chinese values and encouraging cultural appreciation through arts performances.

The goal of the SCCC is to nurture and promote the Singapore Chinese culture and it has attracted 100,000 visitors since it opened in May last year.

 
 

The SFCCA, in addition to leading Singapore's Chinese clan associations, also promotes Chinese culture, language and values.

Speaking in Mandarin at the event, chairman of the SCCC and president of the SFCCA, Mr Chua Thian Poh, said that the new SCCC will lead initiatives in the coming year to nurture a "distinctive local Chinese culture and enhance social harmony".

For instance, the SFCCA will partner the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism to curate a mobile art exhibition, and give young people the opportunity to plan community events.

He also announced that SCCC will hold a Chinese New Year carnival and concert next weekend.

Several other ministers were also present at the event.

Correction note: A earlier version of this story said Mr Chua Thian Poh is president of the SCCC and chairman of the SFCCA. This is incorrect. He is chairman of the SCCC and president of the SFCCA. We are sorry for the error.