SPD Education Programme 2013 – Speech by Mr Joseph Yong

Mr Heng Swee Keat

Minister for Education &
Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC

Ms Chia Yong Yong
President of Society for the Physically Disabled

Parents and Students

Distinguished Guests

Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to join you today at the SPD Education Programme Awards Presentation Ceremony.

NatSteel is privileged to partner the Society for the Physically Disabled once again for the NatSteel-SPD Education Programme Bursary Award.

The bursary award is a core pillar in SPD’s education programme. By alleviating the financial burdens of needy families and their children, the programme enables students to focus on achieving academic excellence as they pursue their education in mainstream schools. The bursary award, together with the other forms of support that SPD provides, has enabled SPD to make a strong and sustained contribution to the community.

Inspirational stories abound. Take the example of Lim Qi Mao, who was born with Spina Bifida, a condition that affects his spine. With the holistic support from SPD to Qi Mao and his family since he was in Primary 2, Qi Mai has now developed into a fine young man studying in ITE.

There are many other success stories, and NatSteel is honoured to be part of this journey. Since 2007, NatSteel has contributed over $410,000 to the NatSteel-SPD Education Programme Bursary Award, benefiting over 500 students. This includes the over 90 students today who will be receiving the awards.

NatSteel remains committed to the bursary award, and I am pleased to announce that we will continue to partner SPD in this worthy cause with a contribution of $150,000 that is projected to be required for the next two years. This will further deepen the partnership between NatSteel and SPD.

Indeed, our relationship has grown from strength to strength over the years. In addition to the bursary award, our staff volunteer regularly at SPD’s Day Activity Centre. We are deeply appreciative of this opportunity to serve the society, albeit in small ways such as these.

As a Tata enterprise and one of the pioneering companies in Singapore, we are deeply committed to playing our part in supporting the growth of the nation. As the only steel mill in Singapore and also the largest metal recycler, NatSteel today runs one of the greenest and most energy efficient steel operations in the world. As the Singapore government continues to spur productivity and environmental sustainability within the construction industry, NatSteel aspires to play an active role in this drive.

Community involvement forms the other key pillar in our corporate social responsibility programme. Working hand-in-hand with partners such as SPD, NatSteel endeavours to empower the disadvantaged youth in Singapore through championing education causes.

We therefore looking forward to strengthening the strong rapport we have with SPD, working together to create an inclusive environment where each student has an equal opportunity to excel and contribute to the society.

To all the students here, let me congratulate you on your academic and personal achievements. May you remain curious and keep learning, so as to achieve your full potential. I wish you every success in the years ahead.

Thank you.