Mr Tan Cheng Gay at the Spring Reception 2019


Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry,
Diplomatic Envoys, Government Officials,
Leaders and Representatives of Clans and Associations,
Council Members, Members and Guests,

  1. A good evening to everyone. Thank you for attending the Spring Reception tonight to celebrate and welcome the New Year with us. On behalf of SHHK, I extend a warm welcome to Minister Chan Chun Sing and all guests to this festive celebration.
  2. Founded in 1840, this year marks the 179th anniversary since the establishment of SHHK; and we will be celebrating the Huay Kuan’s 180th in 2020. Despite facing challenges of the ever-changing times, SHHK has never failed to dutifully uphold its core missions and objectives, which include promoting the cause of education, culture and commitment to philanthropy, by consistently upgrade and advance, keeping up with the times, as well as striving for excellence.
  3. Since the early days, our Fujian leaders have seen the importance of education, especially the early and fundamental, in developing and improving the standard and quality of living. Chong Wen Ker, the first Chinese school of Singapore, was founded by Tan Kim Seng in 1849. He then established the Chinese free school Chiu Eng Si E in 1854. The pioneers subsequently founded the first Chinese Girls’ School Of Singapore, Chong Hock Girls’ School, in 1915 to provide education for Chinese girls who have lesser opportunities to get formal education.
  4. Today, the 6 affiliated schools of SHHK, namely Tao Nan School, Ai Tong School, Chongfu School, Nan Chiau High School, Nan Chiau Primary School and Kong Hwa School, have cultivated experts of various professions who aided the nation’s development. 3 of the 6 schools have over 100 years of history, while the other 3 schools have over 60 years of history.
  5. The affiliated schools of SHHK have excellent teachers and well equipped facilities. Even in the early days, to my knowledge, there have already been science laboratories, music rooms and sports fields in our affiliated schools. The laboratories are equipped with microscopes and various advanced scientific instruments. This implies that emphasis has been placed on imparting advanced ideas and knowledge. Our Hokkien leaders have been steadfast in promoting science education since more than a century ago, which in current terms, placing emphasis on holistic education and future skills.
  6. In line with the objective of contributing to and promoting education, SHHK donated $3 million to Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) via The Hokkien Foundation in 2012 which was then newly established.
  7. Since 2013, up to 12 students from SUTD receive the “Hokkien Foundation — SUTD Scholarship” annually. A total of 41 students have benefited to date, amongst which 10 students have graduated and are serving the community. Dr Yeo Kang Shua was awarded the Hokkien Huay Kuan Endowed Professorship (Architectural Conservation) from 2014 to 2017 to further his pursuit in ancient architectural conservation. He is an Associate Professor of SUTD since 2018 and has worked on three projects that won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation; SUTD has also named a 100-seater lecture hall “Hokkien Foundation Lecture Theatre” in 2018.
  8. In future, SHHK hopes to lead the affiliated schools and SHHK Culture Academy to continue and deepen the cooperation with SUTD. We are truly delighted to have everyone get-together to witness the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between SUTD and SHHK tonight. With the guidance of the big brothers and sisters from SUTD, we hope students of our affiliated schools and SHHK Arts & Cultural Troupe would gain exposure to new technology, innovative design thinking, digital programming and more from young.
  9. It is worth mentioning that one of the teachers of the drone course in SUTD, Dr Foong Shaohui, is an alumnus of Tao Nan School. He is currently a Visiting Associate Professor in the Engineering Product Development pillar. He has extensive Research & Development experience in unmanned systems and robotics, as well as applied magnetics sensing for medical application.
  10. The new partnership between SHHK and SUTD signifies our commitment to future education, as well as the determination of SHHK to keep pace with the times and strives for a better future for the next generation.
  11. The SHHK Spring Reception Invitation Card this year has an environmentally friendly design that can also serve as a bookmark to be torn off the card. You may keep the bookmark as a memento of the event.
  12. I hereby wish all a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Boar. Thank you!

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