- SPEECH BY
MR MASAGOS ZULKIFLI,
MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT, SECOND MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MINISTER-IN-CHARGE OF MUSLIM AFFAIRS
AT LAUNCH OF FAMILY ZONE
26 NOV 2022, 4.15PM AT GARDENS BY THE BAY (ACTIVE GARDEN)
President Halimah Yacob,
Families for Life Council Chairman
Mr Ishak Ismail,
Gardens by the Bay’s Chairman
Mr Niam Chiang Meng,
Gardens by the Bay’s CEO
Mr Felix Loh,
Families and Friends,
1. Good afternoon. I am delighted to welcome all of you to the launch of the Family Zone at Gardens by the Bay!
A LOOK BACK AT THE YEAR OF CELEBRATING SG FAMILIES
2. I am very happy to see all of you this afternoon, and especially delighted
to see families gathered around, spending quality time and having fun together.
3. Families form the bedrock of our society. They are our first line of care and support when we face challenges. We need to continue to enable families to flourish. And empower them to overcome adversities. In doing so, we are building a resilient society that can achieve a better future.
4. As such, 2022 was designated by the Government as the Year of Celebrating SG Families (or YCF for short). Looking back, it has been an eventful year
with many milestones:
a. We launched YCF in March, inviting parents to commemorate the birth of their child by planting a tree under the FamilyTrees initiative.
b. In June, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the National Family Week – which will now be an annual affair. A dedicated week during the June school holidays every year.
c. Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat launched ‘A Singapore Made for Families 2025’ plan to foster a family-friendly culture and to empower all families through all chapters of life.
d. The Constitution will be amended to prevent the definition of marriage
from being constitutionally challenged in the Courts, and this will be debated in Parliament next week.
5. These milestones are possible because of our shared commitment to families. We are heartened to see more than 100,000 Singaporeans taking the Celebrating SG Families pledges, committing to play their part to strengthen family bonds. All hands on deck are needed to follow through with our pledges, to celebrate and support families.
LAUNCH OF FAMILY ZONE
6. While the Year of Celebrating SG Families is coming to a close, the work of strengthening families never stops. It is therefore fitting that we are gathered here to unveil the Family Zone, a legacy project of YCF. This is a symbol of our commitment, beyond YCF, to build A Singapore Made for Families.
7. Milestones encourage us to take a pause, to reflect on how much we have achieved and built as a family. We hope families will celebrate their many milestones together in this designated zone. For instance, to begin a key milestone of their life together, couples can now choose to solemnise their marriages here. And hopefully in a couple of years, bring their children to the Family Zone to enjoy fun filled family activities!
8. When I think about my family, I recall the time spent over meals and after-dinner walks around the neighbourhood. I’m glad that Families for Life (or FFL for short) will organise family picnics, bonding events, and seminars, in the Family Zone to support family bonding – especially for new parents and first-time grandparents.
9. Some of you may have spotted the FFL mascot Becky Bunny and her family members at the lawn next to us. Families can look forward to bringing their children and grandchildren to a new and exciting Becky Bunny's Adventures Playground here, which is slated to be completed at the end of next year.
10. I hope that this new Family Zone will be a space where families can grow closer together to form stronger bonds.
COLLECTIVE EFFORT TO BUILD A SINGAPORE MADE FOR FAMILIES
11. The Government has put in place strong support for families. But the Government cannot do this alone. All of us – corporates, the community, individuals, must all work in sync to support families.
12. Family members must prioritise and intentionally set aside family time. Grandparents and extended family members can also be involved for a more enriching family life. Most importantly, families can come together to uplift other families around them, such as by volunteering with FFL.
13. Corporates must play their part in encouraging a family-friendly culture within their organisations. Supporting individuals in fulfilling their roles at work and at home. And throwing their weight behind the important effort to support families.
14. I would like to thank our close partners, FFL and Gardens by the Bay, for working with us to champion families.
15. Gardens by the Bay has always been a popular destination for families. Recently, they partnered MSF to offer complimentary Friends of the Gardens membership to lower-income families under the ComLink initiative. This will enable more families to spend quality bonding time.
16. I encourage more to follow their lead, to collaborate with FFL to strengthen families, and promote a family-friendly workplace culture, including applying for the Made for Families brandmark.
17. I’m pleased that the Year of Celebrating SG Families does not stop here. FFL has organised many family-friendly initiatives, with exciting programmes planned during this year-end period, at many locations including in the heartlands.
18. All of us have a part to play in building the society we desire. Let’s make a date with our families to spend quality time together, strengthen our families and support the strengthening of other families. Together, let’s build a Singapore Made for Families. Enjoy the festivities!