Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam is marking his one-year anniversary in office by launching the President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive and joining the Lions Befrienders to visit vulnerable seniors living in Bendemeer.
Speaking after the launch of this year’s President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive at the Lions Befrienders on Saturday, Dr Tan said that economic growth is important in building a more caring, compassionate and inclusive society.
He added that he will continue to work hard to build a society where Singaporeans will have opportunities to realise their dreams, and those who are disadvantaged or in need, will not be not left behind.
Dr Tan said: “The most important for all these to continue, is to have a successful growing economy. Unless the economy grows, unless there are jobs, all these are just aspirations. You must have the means in order to realise it.”
During the event, the president chatted with seniors at the Lions Befrienders voluntary welfare organisation, which helps lonely elderly folks with their social and emotional needs, through community activities.
Dr Tan then joined volunteers for house visits to some seniors living in the estate.
In a status update on his Facebook page earlier, Dr Tan said a year ago, he had pledged to serve Singaporeans with all his ability, energy, and heart.
He said the past twelve months have been the most fulfilling and inspiring of his professional life.
He cited events such as the Istana Open Houses, award ceremonies, charity fundraisers, community events and even interactions on Facebook, where both he and his wife Mary, had the opportunity to meet Singaporeans from all walks of life.
Dr Tan said through the interactions, he has learnt much about the worries, hopes and aspirations of Singaporeans.
He added he was also honoured to have represented Singapore internationally, meeting heads of state, Nobel Laureates and business leaders.
But the highlight for the president was cheering the country’s athletes at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Dr Tan wished Singapore’s Paralympians, now competing in London, all the best in their endeavours.
This article was first published in CNA