SPD Education Programme 2014 – Speech by Mr Vivek Kamra

Mr Chan Heng Kee

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Social and Family Development

Ms Chia Yong Yong

President of the Society for the Physically Disabled

Parents and Students

Distinguished Guests

A very good morning. It gives me great pleasure to be with you once again today.


NatSteel is honoured to partner the Society for the Physically Disabled for the NatSteel-SPD Education Programme Bursary Award. This is the seventh year running that we are giving out these awards. The bursaries, together with other forms of support that SPD provides, have enabled SPD to make a strong and sustained contribution to the community.


Mr Jamsetji Tata, founder of the Tata Group, said, “In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business, but is in fact the very purpose of its existence.” This statement has been the corporate philosophy of the Tata group for over 140 years, and continues to drive the way Tata companies across the globe operate today.


For NatSteel, we have been privileged to have been able to play a part in Singapore’s nation building for the past 50 years. While some may be unfamiliar with what we do, the buildings that our products go into would be familiar to all, from the HDB estates that dot our landscape and the MRT lines that run through our neighborhoods to the latest icons such as the integrated resorts. Just to share an interesting factoid, about one in two buildings in Singapore are made from our steel! What we are doing in Singapore is to make steel in the most energy-saving and environmentally friendly way through recycling scrap, and we hope to be a showcase that Singapore can be proud of.


Going beyond business, we also endeavour to strengthen the social fabric through promoting community action. Our relationship with SPD is one such example, and it has grown from strength to strength over the years. We are deeply appreciative to SPD for giving us the opportunity for our NatSteel colleagues to volunteer at your centre on a regular basis.


We are also privileged to support students with the NatSteel-SPD Education Bursary Award. Education is the way forward to building the foundations for our youth, and we are glad to be able to play our part. Since 2007, NatSteel has contributed over $560,000 to the award, benefiting more 500 students. The award is an important 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.


To close, let me end with another quote from Mr Jamsetji Tata, who said “What advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country.”It is my pleasure to join all of you here today to recognise the achievements of these bright young minds. I am sure your parents are very proud of you.


I would like to congratulate all students on your academic and personal achievements and wish you every success in the years ahead. Thank you.