Businesses unveil plans to mark SG50

Businesses unveil plans to mark SG50
Mr Lawrence Wong (Acting Minister for Community, culture and youth, centre) and Chairman of the SG50 Steering Committee and Minister for Education Mr Heng Swee Keat (right) hangs up their messages on a board adorned with the SG50 logo at the launch event, where they call on all Singaporeans to join in to shape Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Coming soon to a supermarket near you - a million special-edition sardine cans to celebrate Singapore's jubilee.

Ayam Brand Singapore has come up with a contest for the public to create six special sardine can designs to mark the nation's 50th birthday based on two themes: their best memories of Singapore and national service.

It is one of a series of efforts by businesses big and small to mark the nation's milestone.

The birthday celebrations are being spearheaded by the SG50 steering committee. Its SG50 Economic and International Committee and SG50 Partnership Committee are kick-starting the process by honouring firms and workers that have contributed to Singapore's economic success.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing outlined the idea at an engagement session yesterday at The Star Theatre.

"This is not only a sponsorship and fund-raising session. That would have been easy. More important than the money or funds raised is the ability to solicit ideas from everyone, from all walks of life," he said. "We hope that through this entire year of celebrations, we'll be able to reflect on our journey, reaffirm our values and look towards the future."

One project is the "50 Schools, 50 SMEs" initiative that will see teams from 50 secondary schools being paired with 50 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to learn about the firms' history.

Another initiative, "Local Champions, Global Leaders", will involve polytechnic and university students telling the stories of local industry champions and multinational companies that have made significant contributions.

The tertiary students can use any creative medium to bring to life the entrepreneurial spirit of the firms. The top prize for the best submission in the tertiary students' category is $10,000.

Both projects aim to draw the younger generation of students closer to the pioneer generation of business owners and staff.

Firms that have committed to the student tie-ups include water treatment firm Hyflux, traditional Chinese medicine company Eu Yan Sang and food chains Jumbo Restaurant and Muthu's Curry.

Ms Olivia Lum, co-chairman of the SG50 Economic and International Committee and chief executive of Hyflux, said at a separate briefing yesterday: "Singapore could become what it is today because all the businesses worked together, whether they are international businesses or our local businesses."

Spring Singapore deputy chief executive Ted Tan said the SMEs can showcase themselves as choice employers, while students can benefit from the learning sessions. "Hopefully, the enterprising spirit and endeavour, the can-do spirit will rub off on the students," he added.

One firm keen to share a slice of Singapore's history, as well as some barbecued pork or bak kwa, is Bee Cheng Hiang's parent company, Chop Hup Chong Food Industries, which wants to take part in the SG50 celebrations.

General manager Jean Ang said: "We are very proud to be part of SG50 because we (grew) with the country."

This article was first published on August 27, 2014.
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