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.
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."