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Speech By Mr Baey Yam Keng At The Singapore University Of Social Sciences Convocation 2017

Speech By Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community And Youth, At The Singapore University Of Social Sciences Convocation 2017 On 12 October 2017, 9.30 a.m., The Grand Hall, Singapore University of Social Sciences

Professor Aline Wong, SUSS Chancellor
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, SUSS President
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen.

  1. Good morning! To the graduands from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and the School of Business – congratulations! You have worked hard to reach this milestone. Today, you have made your family members, teachers and friends very happy and proud.
  2. I would also like to extend my well wishes to SUSS on your restructuring and transition to an autonomous university. SUSS now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our five other national universities. You have distinguished yourself by focusing on two areas: social sciences and disciplines that have a strong impact on human and community development, as well as lifelong learning.
  3. The challenges we face are getting increasingly complex, requiring solutions that go beyond technical knowledge. We will need a deeper understanding of human behavior, and greater collaboration across disciplines. As the pioneer batch for SUSS, you are now its ambassadors. I hope you will apply what you have learnt at SUSS to do good for society.
  4. At the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth, we have been collaborating with SUSS through the National Youth Council, in particular, Youth Corps Singapore and Outward Bound Singapore. Some of you may have participated in the Youth Corps Leaders Programme. The Programme equips youth with the competencies needed to serve our community, such as being able to identify social needs and developing the corresponding solutions. More importantly, we want to nurture leaders with empathy and a heart of service. To further support youth who are passionate about creating social change, the National Youth Council recently launched a call for proposals under the National Youth Fund. This call is in support of our SG Cares movement, where we hope that more young Singaporeans will step up to initiate projects which will move us towards a more caring and cohesive society.

  5. We also want to build resilience in our youth, to have the ability to bounce back from setbacks and thrive in the face of challenges. The induction for full-time SUSS students includes a 3-day course with OBS. In time to come, with the new OBS facilities on Coney Island, we hope that more youths in Singapore will share a common experience, which helps build strong bonds and lasting friendships that will accompany them for many years. Our youths would also become better prepared to take on life's challenges.

  6. Let me share an example to illustrate this. Your fellow graduand, Mr Elton Kang, was coincidentally an instructor at OBS. His busy schedule meant that he often had to find creative solutions to complete his assignments. Once, he had to complete an assignment literally "under the stars" as he was facilitating a camp, and needed to lead the youths under his charge in a kayaking expedition early the next morning. His commitment to learning was so strong, that he made use of a head lamp as a light source, working till the wee hours to complete the graded assignment. Elton's effort paid off. Not only was Elton rewarded with an 'A' for the assignment, he is now graduating as the top student in the programme with a degree in communications. Congratulations, Elton!
  7. It is this kind of adaptability and resolve that has gotten Elton, and all of you, to where you are today. These are also the qualities that will lead you to greater achievements in the future. As leaders of tomorrow, all of you have a part to play in shaping Singapore's future. I hope you will continue to stay in touch with one another, and work together as a community to tackle the complex challenges that lie ahead.
  8. As you embark on the next phase of your journey, I wish you all the very best, and look forward to hearing some of your success stories in the future. Once again, my heartiest congratulations to all of you! Thank you. 
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