SINGAPORE: Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam said economic growth is important in building a more caring, compassionate and inclusive society.
He was speaking after the launch of this year’s President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive at the Lions Befrienders on Saturday.
Saturday also marked the first anniversary of Dr Tan’s appointment as President.
During the event, he did preparatory work to put the finishing touches on some greeting cards, and joined volunteers to distribute the cards to seniors living in the Bendemeer area.
Lions Befrienders helps the elderly with their social and emotional needs through community activities.
Dr Tan said he will continue to work hard to build a society where Singaporeans will have opportunities to realise their dreams.
He said those in need will not be left behind.
"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," said Dr Tan.
Dr Tan also spoke of two highlights of his year in office — supporting Team Singapore at the London Olympics, and being inducted into the Honorary Senate of the Lindau Foundation for the Nobel Prizewinners Meetings.
"I was proud to stand together with eight other scientists from Singapore, to profile Singapore as a research and development hub to a very distinguished audience, comprising nobel laureates, very bright young scientists, and to the world. I think this shows that although we are a small country, we can have a big impact," said Dr Tan.
All in, Dr Tan said it’s been a busy, fulfilling and meaningful year, and he looks forward to connecting with Singaporeans from all walks of life in the years ahead.
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