Channel NewsAsia

Share Singapore stories to strengthen identity: Tan Chuan-Jin at Pre-U Sem

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin says experiences of others can help youths better appreciate the challenges of building an inclusive society.

SINGAPORE: Youths here should interact more with others from different backgrounds as this will deepen their understanding of what it means to be a Singaporean, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Monday (June 2).

Speaking at the Pre-University Seminar today, Mr Tan said stories of the country have the power to connect at three levels - the personal, the community, and national.

"Sharing these stories helps us remember what we went through, how we dealt with it. You have to decide for yourself: What do you take away from these stories? The schools cannot decide for you, certainly the Government cannot decide for you, but what I take away from these stories certainly is that we do not take what we have for granted. We need to stay ahead of the game where we can, but when we face difficulties, we will deal with it."

The Pre-University Seminar is attended by 550 students from 30 institutions. From Monday till Thursday, participants will work on projects based on this year's seminar's theme - "Many Stories, One Future". During an hour-long interaction session with the students, the minister also touched on issues such as xenophobia and minimum wage.

Keefe Wayne Teo, a student at the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science told Channel NewsAsia: "I would like to know whether the needy have been participating in (Singapore's) economic growth and (whether) they really benefit from the growth."

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