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Singapore Government

Launch of the Parent’s Toolkit on Character

Launch of the Parent’s Toolkit on Character

Thank you for inviting me here today. I am very happy to be here to affirm the family as the central institution in our society.

I think we are constantly learning because we are never perfect, and it is through our entire journey with our family that we really build the bonds with one another. So, I truly appreciate all these efforts by our community partners to help us strengthen the  institution of family in our society. There are many more things that we need to do, individually, as a society, and as a country. However, without the family, I think that the future of the country will be rather bleak. Hence, it is important for all of us, including myself, to make the time and special effort to spend time with our own children, and affirm them as it was shared during the video, no matter how busy we are.

We can never underestimate the impact that we, as family and as parents, can have on our children. If they have a good foundation in terms of their values, then I am sure they will be successful regardless of where they will be, and regardless of what subjects they study. On the other hand, if they earn a lot of money but do not possess these basic values, at the end of the day, then it is very sad.

Nowadays, when I go around to visit my residents two or three times a week, the ones who make me the happiest, are not those with the biggest televisions, refrigerators or other household items, but those who have laughter in the family and  those families where the aged parents still have their children coming back to visit them regularly.  This is better than individuals who have a lot of tangible worldly goods but whose children are nowhere to be seen at the end of the day, because they are out earning money. It is always very sad, but we always say that there is always an opportunity for us to do good. There is a Chinese saying – “树欲静而风不止,子欲养而亲不在” which means that the tree wants to sway but the wind is no longer around; similarly, when we want to honor and respect our parents, they may no longer be around. Let us not leave it till it is too late, but let us all take this moment to cherish our families and our loved ones.

On this note, thank you very much for coming here to participate in this event. I also hope that those who have come here today can also help spread this message to your fellow colleagues so we can continue this movement to reinforce the institution of the family as being central to our country.

Thank you very much.

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