SINGAPORE: Singaporeans have to take ownership in keeping the country clean, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the annual Clean and Green carnival on Saturday (Nov 4).
Although Singapore has done well in transforming its waterways, and becoming one of the few Asian cities with greenery throughout the country, more work needs to be done on the cleanliness front, he said.
"Today we are reliant on 50,000 cleaners … We also have our community initiatives, teams of volunteers who go around and help pick up the litter. But that isn’t going to solve the problem," said Mr Tharman.
“It starts from young, building that culture. And it is all about public-spiritedness – being mindful of our neighbours, people who live beside us, and a little further from us, and owning Singapore together.”
Mr Tharman also commended efforts such as the Education Ministry's move to introduce daily cleaning by students in all schools. He also spoke about technological advances such as solar panels that help make sustainable living more affordable and attractive to businesses.
At the event, the Deputy Prime Minister also planted a cratoxylum cochinchinese – a tree native to Singapore that can grow up to 30m – along Boon Keng Road. He also presented eight awards to grassroots organisations for their efforts in areas such as public hygiene and energy efficiency.
The carnival, held at the open field next to Boon Keng MRT station’s Exit C, showcases how Singaporeans can adopt a greener lifestyle such as by using energy-efficient appliances and recycling in different ways.