SINGAPORE: The current funding and infrastructure for arts and sports will remain, even though these portfolios will be moved to the new Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
Senior Minister of State for Education, Mr Lawrence Wong, gave this assurance on Thursday.
The minister of state will head the new ministry when it is up and running from November 1.
"Funding will continue, existing projects will continue, and we will develop new initiatives to develop these areas even further," Mr Wong said.
He said that it was too early to discuss any plans in any specific areas, but that existing projects and initiatives, such as the Vision 2030 sports master plan, will remain in place.
Mr Wong noted the concerns of the arts and sports communities that they would get less attention as the words "arts" and "sports" have been dropped from the name of the new ministry.
Currently, arts comes under the purview of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) while sports comes under the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
He assured all arts and sports groups that the new ministry will continue to focus on developing excellence in these areas, as it works on strengthening community bonds.
"In MCCY, we will build up the arts and sports not just as a means towards community or nation building, but because arts and sports are important areas for our people and our society, and they have intrinsic value in their own right," Mr Wong said.
He said his priority now is to engage those who will be working in the new ministry.
"There will be a lot of engagement to do because we have many different groups. It’s a very people—centred ministry —— arts, sports, community, organisations, youth organisations —— and so we will have a lot of engagement work to do," Mr Wong said.
He said his ministry’s goal is to build a more cohesive society with a stronger sense of national identity.
"I think it’s not just the strength of our economy which will determine our success. Rather, it’s the character and spirit of our people which will be increasingly more important, and that character can only be nurtured and strengthened if Singaporeans feel responsibility to one another and we have a sense of common purpose of who we are as a nation," Mr Wong said.
The new ministry will be based at the current MICA Building along Hill Street.
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