Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed the importance of integration into society to new Singaporeans at a citizenship ceremony on Saturday.
He congratulated 350 people for receiving their Singaporean citizenships at Ang Mo Kio and Seng Kang GRCs and said that the common thing they all share is that "Singapore is your new home".
During the ceremony, PM Lee expressed empathy that making the choice to become a Singaporean was a major life decision that affects not just the individual, but also the family.
He also cited shared values and goals, loyalty to country, and emotional attachment to places as aspects which give meaning to being a citizen at the ceremony held at Teck Ghee Community Centre.
These aspects are much more important than just a change of legal status, he said.
New Singaporeans should put in the effort to integrate with locals and to widen their social circles by building relationships with different groups of locals to explore and adapt to the Singaporean customs, lifestyles, norms and social rules, emphasised PM Lee.
He said that efforts like these will reflect the importance of the "heart part" and can make their citizenship change experience more personal and meaningful.
Mr Lee noted that even though there may be similarities among ethnicities, there can be vast differences in customs, habits and attitudes. Thus, he proposed to them to bridge their cultural differences by participating and volunteering in community-based activities.
One such example he shared was that of Mr Myo San who was originally from Myanmar. Mr Myo San had participated in his neighbourhood events and had enrolled his children in local schools. He is currently Chairman of the Resident Committee for Teck Ghee Zone "B".