- POSTED: 12 Jan 2014 21:57
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Singapore cannot be a society where the winner takes all, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He was speaking to students receiving Edusave awards at his Teck Ghee ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC on Sunday.
SINGAPORE: Singapore cannot be a society where the winner takes all, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
He was speaking to students receiving Edusave awards at his Teck Ghee ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC on Sunday.
Mr Lee said they may have worked hard for their success, but since they also received help from the people around them, they have a responsibility to help others and to care for them.
It was a school trip to Japan which helped Secondary 4 student Soh Jing Zhi realise the importance of social responsibility.
When he returned to Singapore, he rallied his schoolmates to take charge of cleaning their own school.
Besides taking a leadership role in his co-curricular activity (Concert Band), Jing Zhi is also among the top three of his cohort last year - earning him the Edusave Scholarship, which is given to students who are in the top 10 per cent of their cohort.
Jing Zhi, who studies at Chong Boon Secondary School, said: “I enjoy what I do, so I do not find it a chore to keep up with my studies. To manage my time well, I have a schedule to keep to. Especially when I'm studying, I try to block out any distractions to keep myself on task.”
Giving out the awards, Mr Lee said he hopes these awards can encourage students to do better.
He said: "In Singapore, it doesn't matter what your starting point in life is. If you work hard, if you have the ability, you can rise. And we hope that our young people will work hard and study and do well. Of course, you shouldn't just work hard for awards or for academic grades. Ultimately, we hope you'll grow into good people and into responsible citizens and caring Singaporeans."
Mr Lee also commended students who have done well both academically and in their co-curricular activities, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
He said it takes courage to overcome difficult situations, but resilience makes this possible, and this determination to succeed is important for both the individual and the country.
Primary 6 student Ong Yong Jie has been receiving Edusave Awards, but this is his biggest haul with three awards - the Edusave Scholarship, Good Character Award and PCF Book Prize.
Yong Jie is not only in the top 10 per cent of his cohort, but he also juggles his time between taekwondo, art club, and helping his mother with household chores.
Last year, Yong Jie won a silver medal in the national taekwondo competition last year, and a bronze medal at the Maths Olympiad.
Yong Jie, who studies at Townsville Primary School, said: "She's very busy every day, and she has to take care of a lot more admin stuff, so I will help her do household chores like wiping the table after eating, washing the dishes and having to sweep the floor.”
Mr Lee commended students like Yong Jie for their resilience and urged them to care for those around them.
He said: “We’re not just doing well for ourselves, we also have to help others, and in particular, to help those who're not as fortunate as ourselves. We cannot be living in a society where the winner takes all.
“And when you succeed, you know that you worked hard, but friends helped you, parents helped you, teachers helped you, your colleagues helped you. Your classmates gave you friendly competition, shared homework with you. And so, you owe a responsibility to them to help them too, to care for them and to work together to give back to society, so that we can all progress together.”
Mr Lee added that the government will be introducing new policies to grow Singapore's economy while improving its social system.
The objective, he said, is to help young Singaporeans find good jobs with good opportunities in future.