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Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, Minister Shanmugam,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
1. A very good evening and happy new year to everyone! First of all, on behalf of Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, we wish to thank Minister Shanmugam, Sir, for taking time off your busy schedule to join us today, and celebrating this meaningful occasion with us.
6. The sense of community involvement and togetherness, is especially pertinent in multi-racial and multi-cultural Singapore. The Chinese New Year is not only celebrated by the Chinese, it is also a time where the festive cheer permeates all corners of the society. Through our unique customs like for example, the Lou Hei, we share our hope for a prosperous year with our Malay, Indian friends and friends from the region and the world. (Last week, the Prime Minister of Malaysia also joined our leaders in Lou Hei!) We share cheers of “huat ah!” with everyone, and take in the colourful festive sights and sounds of Chingay, Kreta Ayer Chinatown and River Hongbao.
7. These are experiences and memories unique to Singapore. These are traditions re-invented and re-created with fellow Singaporeans, not just the Chinese, but where interesting aspects of each culture are incorporated into our celebrations, and everyone can celebrate together. A community that can celebrate together, will stay together.
8. While unity is our strength, as we usher in the Year of the Rabbit, we are reminded to stay agile and adaptable, and to have a keen sense of our surroundings just like the rabbit, so as to react quickly and avert calamities, seize opportunities. On that note, I hope the Year of the Rabbit will bring all of us great opportunities, good health, prosperity, happiness, and every success! Thank you and Happy New Year!