SINGAPORE: As Singapore commemorates its bicentennial, it is imperative the country stays connected to the world or cease to be relevant, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Thursday (Jan 31).
"You can say the world discovered Singapore 200 years ago. Since then Singapore has also discovered the world," said Mr Goh.
"Singapore being a little country needs to be connected to the world. Otherwise we will cease to be relevant," he added.
He also said that despite its size, Singapore is a medium-sized economy in the world because it adds value to others.
Mr Goh was speaking at the launch of a charity photo exhibition by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, which was held in conjunction with Singapore's Bicentennial commemoration.
Beyond staying connected with the world, Mr Goh also called for a more concerted effort to build an inclusive society at home.
"The Government has done more to support social mobility and integration, but we in the community - businesses, voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), private individuals - also have a responsibility to contribute," said Mr Goh.
The exhibition, named Our Place in the World, features 30 photographs taken by Mr Tan during his travels over the last 20 years.
"I realise just how much we have in common as a human race around the world. We may all have different roots, different journeys, different homes, but we do share a common humanity that ties everyone together," said Mr Tan.
Located at the second level concourse of Far East Plaza, the exhibition will be opened to the public between Feb 1 and Feb 28. Individuals can make donations to support fundraising efforts.
All proceeds will go towards 13 charities to help low-income families, ex-offenders and others in need. Participating charities include Mediacorp Enable Fund and The Turning Point.