SINGAPORE - Singapore's pioneers made sacrifices for one another and the nation and their spirit must continue for future generations, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday.
He was speaking at an appreciation dinner for 1,600 volunteers, known as Pioneer Generation Ambassadors.
Coming from different walks of life - students, housewives, working professionals, retirees and even fellow pioneers - they visit pioneers at home to personally explain the benefits that they receive under programmes such as the Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life insurance scheme.
"Through their service and selfless dedication, Pioneer Generation Ambassadors embody the very same values and spirit that pioneers upheld to make Singapore a better home for all of us," Mr Lee said at the event held at the Gardens By The Bay.
Praising the ambassadors' hard work, he said their efforts also showed that the spirit of volunteerism is alive in Singapore.
Mr Lee noted that although there are only 3,000 ambassadors in total, they reached out to 120,000 pioneers in less than a year, meaning that as a group they met 400 pioneers every day.
He also praised the volunteers for drawing seniors to the community, ensuring their daily needs are met, helping them during emergencies and lending them a listening ear.
Mr Lee urged more Singaporeans to join the programme and keep the Singapore spirit alive.
"Less than a fortnight away from Singapore's 50th birthday, it is timely to reflect on the kind of society we want to build," he said.
At the dinner, Mr Lee also launched a book containing stories of pioneers that the ambassadors had met during their house visits.