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Speech By Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, At SIM University Convocation Ceremony 2010

Speech By Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Minister Of State For Community Development, Youth And Sports, At The SIM University Convocation Ceremony, 9.30am On 6 October 2010 At SIM University


Professor Cham Tao Soon, Chancellor, UniSIM;
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, UniSIM;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen;


  1. Good morning. I am delighted to be with you today at this graduation ceremony.
  1. Today is a celebration of five years of growth in SIM University’s history; of more than 1,400 graduands; and its inaugural batch of graduating students from the School of Human Development and Social Services.

  1. This morning’s ceremony also celebrates the achievements of the 413 graduands here today, many of whom have gone to great lengths to realise their dreams. My congratulations go out to each and every one of you and those who have played a part in your success. Your families, friends and lecturers have every reason to feel proud on this special occasion.

Job Market Picking Up

  1. We have emerged strong from the recent global recession and today, you are graduating in good times. The economy and job market are picking up and companies are hiring. Total employment has risen by 63,000 in the first half of 2010.

The Singapore Spirit

  1. Singapore’s prosperity is the result of our forefathers’ vision of a better Singapore and a better future for their families. This vision is realised through a special spirit and drive that has been the foundation of our success.

  1. So, what is this spirit? I believe that this spirit can be captured in the saying, 自强不息,厚德载物. This means to constantly strengthen ourselves and to approach the world with virtue. This includes adopting values such as hard work, meritocracy, respect, compassion and pride. It is this spirit that will ensure our continued economic success and way of life. And this spirit is strong and alive. It can be seen in our will to pull through the economic crisis, and a passion for the needy as shown in the many initiatives to help those less fortunate in Singapore.

Contributing Back to Society

  1. The social service and community sector has played an important role in Singapore’s development.

  1. In the 50s and 60s, there was an urgent priority to provide basic necessities for the poor and needy, including food, healthcare, housing and education. Singapore has become much more affluent now but there will always be a vulnerable segment of our society who need our help.

  1. So, one good avenue to live out the spirit is to be an actively engaged citizen and give back to the community. For example, you can join the community organisations in your neighbourhood, stay involved in the various initiatives and remain aware of the various issues that affect your community. Volunteer, and discover firsthand the satisfaction that comes from contributing to society, and making a difference in the lives of others.

  1. You can also contribute by making your views known in a constructive way through new media such as Facebook and Twitter. The Government is also using new media to engage Singaporeans. You can bring a different level of energy, excitement and vibrancy to the nation through your contributions.

UniSIM's Important Role in CET

  1. UniSIM celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Since 2005, it has more than 11,000 students enrolled in over 40 programmes, and 10,500 alumni. You can be proud that UniSIM is accepted as one of the choice universities for higher education and continuing education and training in Singapore.

  1. I commend UniSIM for its achievements as a university for working adults. Working professionals have opportunities for a university education and lifelong learning through continuing upgrading of knowledge and skills. Your emphasis on programmes that are robust, but flexible, and relevant, is important.

  1. My Ministry aims to foster a “village-based model” of early childhood development which taps on the collective resources of the whole community of caregivers, from parents, non-professional caregivers, early childhood professionals and the local community. UniSIM is in a position to incorporate such emerging needs in its early childhood development curriculum and training.

  1. UniSIM’s programmes enable working professionals to update their knowledge and apply them immediately to their work and jobs. This would impact on productivity that businesses value greatly.

  1. I urge UniSIM to continue making inroads in the educational landscape and offering industry-relevant learning that complements what the other publicly funded universities are doing.

Parting note

  1. To all the graduands, I trust that your association with UniSIM will not end with this graduation and that you will continue to cherish and maintain the friendships made and participate actively in its alumni activities.

  1. I congratulate each and every one of you on this wonderful achievement!

  1. Thank you.

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