Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the Guest of Honor at the National Citizenship Ceremony.
PM Lee said it was especially significant for them to receive citizenships in Singapore’s Bicentennial year when the country is reflecting on its history and what it means to be Singaporean.
PM Lee told the ceremony at ITE College Central in Ang Mo Kio that taking up citizenship is a deep, personal commitment.
He quoted Singapore’s first Foreign Minister, S Rajaratnam, saying: “Being a Singaporean is not a matter of ancestry. It is conviction and choice.”
PM Lee added: “In fact, many of you have already become very Singaporean at heart. All of you have lived, worked, or studied here for years, and in some cases, even started your families here.”
He said the new citizens have integrated into Singapore society, adapted to its culture and learnt how to get along with neighbours, classmates, colleagues and friends.
At the same time, they have brought their experiences, skills, perspectives and values here.
“As you craft your life story, deepen your roots here and participate in our community life, you will contribute your bit to the Singapore story too,” he noted.
“That’s how Singapore will progress. Not just integrating new arrivals, but also evolving with you, absorbing some of your cultures and experiences, and enriching our unique Singaporean identity.”
Emcee Lester Leo was the emcee for the National Citizenship Ceremony 2019 with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as the guest of honor.