SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean hopes Singaporeans will heed the call to cultivate a generous spirit.
Mr Teo made the comments in response to questions about Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech, which focused on making Singapore a "home with heart and hope".
The deputy prime minister said Mr Lee’s message was a powerful one.
"Generosity of spirit and openness in Singapore is something which has been part of Singapore for many generations," Mr Teo said.
"If you look around you, all our families, we have always been generous to others, contributing to charity, open to foreigners as well.
"I think this is one of the things we hope Singaporeans will internalise."
Mr Teo also welcomed the move to grant paternity leave to fathers.
Some employers have voiced concerns over the issue, saying that the move may impact productivity and business costs.
Mr Teo, who is also the Minister in charge of population policies, said stakeholders are being consulted.
The views of both employers and families will need to be balanced, he said.
Mr Teo was speaking on the sidelines of Singapore G1, an event branded as Singapore’s "largest environmentally—sustainable lifestyle event".
The deputy prime minister said that combating climate change will require a whole—of—nation approach.
The event was organised by the Singapore Environment Council.
As part of the event, more than 20,000 people walked for a green cause on Sunday morning, making it Singapore’s biggest ever walk—for—green event.
Mr Teo also launched a new climate change exhibition called "Our Green Home", organised by the National Climate Change Secretariat.
"Climate change affects all of us, not just in Singapore but around the world. It’s going to affect our lives and our economy. We are much more of a consumerist society today than we were, say, 20 or 30 years ago. And even if we want to consume, there are also green ways of consuming," said Mr Teo, who is also the chairman of the Inter—Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.
It is hoped that the exhibition will encourage more to do their part for the environment.
The exhibition also provides information on Singapore’s climate change plans and highlights the importance of individual and community actions to address climate change. It will travel to selected libraries, community clubs and shopping malls in the heartlands till January next year.
Singapore G1 was created with a no—waste objective. For example, there are no event posters or banners.
Instead, all publicity was done online and through word of mouth.
Organisers hope that more events will take on an eco—friendly approach.
Already, there are plans to make the 2015 South East Asian Games, which will be held in Singapore, an all—green affair.
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