Locals and new citizens come together to celebrate friendship

Locals and new citizens come together to celebrate friendship

Make the first move. That was the advice Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan gave to the new citizens who want to integrate into Singapore society at a gathering at Gardens by the Bay.

On Nov 1, the People's Association (PA) One Community Fiesta 2014 drew over 4,000 Singaporeans and new immigrants.

At the event, Mr Khaw, the guest of honour, stressed the importance of local Singaporeans and new citizens putting in the effort to make Singapore "a great home and a caring community".

"New citizens should embrace our social norms and our way of life, and help make Singapore a better place for all. One good approach is to step forward to serve the community as volunteers...

"All it takes is to simply make the first move, take the first step. I am sure you will find many local Singaporeans wanting to help you understand and embrace our unique Singapore way of life," he said.

Mr Khaw referred to a ukelele performance by 100 local Singaporeans and new citizens from seven different countries as an example. The group performed two local community favourites, Rasa Sayang and Chan Mali Chan. Although some of the performers had difficulty with the Malay lyrics, "they had fun practising it and were now able to sing proudly together", he said.

The event was supported by 12 immigrant and clan associations, including three Indian groups - IIT Alumni Association Singapore, Indian Women's Association and Singapore Khalsa Association. Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, adviser to the PA's Integration Council and Geylang Serai Grassroots Organisations, also attended the event.

Under the theme of Knowing Me, Knowing You, the event brought together immigrant associations and grassroots organisations, who will be co-creating 50 community service projects next year as part of the SG50 celebrations.

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