March 07, 2017
MOE FY 2017 Committee of Supply Debate Speech by Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung
1. Madam Chair, I thank the members for their questions. I will try to answer as many of them as I can in my speech.
A Transformation of Higher Education
2. Let me start with a story. Many Members may already be familiar with the story of Kirsten Tan, one of Singapore’s most renowned film-makers. There are so many aspects of her story that are relevant to our education system.
3. Kirsten had always wanted to make films, but her parents, in her own words, ‘die die wanted her to go to a university’. So she went to study Literature in NUS, but never gave up on film. At NUS, she set up her own studio and production house. She made a film that she said was so bad, even she didn’t know what it was all about.
4. After NUS, she went to Ngee Ann Polytechnic, to do an Advanced Diploma in Film Production. Finally, she got to do what she was passionate in. She made two more films – and this time, they won awards at the Singapore International Film Festival. Later, one of her films – “Pop Aye” – won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival. It was a moment of great pride and joy for her, her family, as well as for Singapore.
5. Today, she gets gigs from all over the world, many in New York where she is based. Her parents have come round to support her career as a film maker.
6. I tell this story because of the contradictions she has to deal with in this new world. Kirsten’s story is one of pragmatism and passion; of meeting parents’ expectations but still chasing your own dream; of lifelong upgrading yet not conforming to the notion that what follows a Degree must be a Masters degree or a PhD; of venturing beyond Singapore while remaining Singaporean at heart. It is a story about what education can and should do for Singaporeans, for all of us, across every field.
7. We have an effective and internationally well-regarded education system. But sometimes a great strength can also be a weakness. It gives rise to a temptation to just tinker around at the edges, instead of making more fundamental but necessary changes.
8. I believe that we are at the threshold of major changes in our society and economy. We need to also transform our higher education landscape in response.
9. We need to make five important shifts as part of this transformation:
- First, besides being a pathway into good jobs and lifelong employability, education also needs to be a journey to fulfil hopes and aspirations. The two need not be at odds with one another.
- Second, education and learning need to be lifelong. Ms Thanaletchmi made this point well. But we must recognise that the learning needs and habits of adults are vastly different from that of students. Adult training needs to be bite-sized, relevant, concise, convenient, and to the point.
- Third, education must impart skills, not just information and knowledge. This is for a simple reason – because information can be ‘Googled’, skills cannot. Whether you are performing surgery, coding a complex IT programme, cooking for your customers, repairing a car, negotiating effectively, or working in a team with people of different cultures – all these are skills.
- Fourth, ‘learning by doing’. We are used to the idea of ‘learning for doing’ – study a few years, before stepping into the workforce and working as a professional, a manager or technician. But technical and cognitive abilities can also be gained through actual experience. This method has underlined centuries of European apprenticeship and craftsmanship the world over, as Ms Foo Mee Har and Mr Thomas Chua have mentioned. It is more important and relevant than ever today.
- Fifth, help Singaporeans adapt to a data-rich and digital working environment. Not everyone needs to learn to code or be an IT expert. But we must all be comfortable and competent working in a digitally-enabled environment. In other words, we must be data-enabled as a workforce.
10. These shifts are the building blocks of transformation. To implement them, we will do three things – Build, Configure, and Scale.
11. These represent the three overlapping phases of our work. The changes will take place over the next five years, but will set the stage for our continued progress for the next 20.
12. Let me talk about them in turn.
13. First, we need to Build, meaning to lay the critical foundations of organisations, structure and funding.
14. It is painstaking work. Fortunately, we have been working at it for over a decade. In the early 2000s, the Government set up the Lifelong Learning Endowment Fund, and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to champion lifelong learning. WDA in turn set up the WSQ framework, and established about 40 training centres which deliver adult training.
15. Last year, WDA was restructured into two statutory boards. One of them – SkillsFuture Singapore – is now part of MOE. With that change, education and learning from young to old – for a whole lifetime – came under a single Ministry.
16. Under this new structure, post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs) under MOE, namely ITE, Polytechnics and Autonomous Universities (AUs), are all given a strong mandate to promote and drive lifelong learning.
New University Pathways
17. We are not done building.
18. In 2014, SIT became our fifth AU, and the first to pioneer an applied degree pathway.
19. Later this year, I will be tabling a Bill in this House to restructure UniSIM into our sixth AU, which will focus on applied degree programmes in the social sciences, such as social work, human resources, psychology, early childhood education, and so on.
20. We will also further develop tertiary education opportunities in the arts. Mr Edwin Tong and Mr Gan Thiam Poh asked about this. We can do more to develop the capabilities of our two publicly-funded arts institutions – NAFA and LASALLE College of the Arts. Parl Sec Faishal will speak on this later in his speech.
Funding Lifelong Learning
21. Another important aspect of Build is to fund lifelong learning, to make it affordable and accessible to Singaporeans.
22. I thank Mr Pritam Singh for explaining the supply and demand side of our support. I have been trying to explain this for a long time, and I think it is worthwhile spending a bit of time explaining the system again.
23. Supply-side funding means that we fund the training provider so that the course fee charged is lowered to a small fraction of the actual cost. It is not different from the way we fund education or healthcare – which is through schools and hospitals.
24. The advantage of supply-side funding is that we have better control in funding the courses that are relevant to the industries, represent the growth areas, and very importantly as pointed out by Mr Pritam Singh, aligned to our Industry Transformation Maps. The downside is that it is not very visible to the public.
25. The other way is demand-side funding, where funding goes directly to the learner, the individual user. Examples are bursaries, SkillsFuture Study Awards, and of course,
26. What is good about demand-side funding is that it is very visible, and people do get excited. When SkillsFuture Credit was introduced, people started to discuss and reflect on what they should learn next. There was a certain excitement in the air. The downside is that if done across the board, like SkillsFuture Credit, it can be expensive. This is why we limit it to $500 per Singaporean. Another downside is that we have little control on how people will spend the grant on the ground. And finally, what people spend on may not be entirely aligned with our growth strategies.
27. To illustrate how it all works, take a training programme that costs $1,000 to attend. On the supply side, the Government funds $900, so the course fee chargeable is only $100. A Singaporean can then use his SkillsFuture Credit – demand-side funding – to pay the last $100. So to him, it is effectively free.
28. On balance, our approach is to continue to lean more on supply-side funding, which is more prudent and a stronger lever in public policy making. So today, we spend about $400 million a year on supply-side funding, versus $37 million last year on SkillsFuture Credit.
29. This approach has worked well for us. Through our efforts to promote Lifelong Learning and SkillsFuture over the years, our training participation rate has jumped from 32% to 42% over the last ten years, with about half of the increase realised over the last three years.
30. Annual training headcounts have increased over 70% to 380,000 today, over the last five years.
31. Excluding areas such as safety, security and F&B, which produce a large number of training places partly because of regulations, the top nine areas today account for over half of the training places supported by SkillsFuture Singapore.
32. In descending order, they are ICT, service excellence, education and training, human resource management, personal development, leadership and people management, business management, productivity and innovation, and healthcare.
33. We did not plan for these numbers, but what we have done is to allow the training industry and market to respond, and we provide support where we think the quality of training is good and there is alignment to our growth strategies.
34. Over time, many members of public, and also members of the House, such as Mr Low Thia Khiang, Mr Daniel Goh and Ms Cheng Li Hui, have asked for more demand-side support, such as study loans, or top-ups of SkillsFuture Credit for certain groups such as vulnerable workers or mommies.
35. I agree that we should extend more help to these groups, especially if they are vulnerable. But we would rather do so mainly through supply-side measures.
36. And indeed we can. There are some 9,000 courses out there which are already heavily subsidised. Part-time diplomas are subsidised up to 85%, short courses often up to 90% or 95%, through supply-side funding.
37. For someone taking a Diploma programme in a Polytechnic or a Degree programme in an AU, study loans and tuition fee loans provided by the institutions are available to them, including an adult worker taking a Diploma or part-time Degree. Hence, the CPF Education Scheme is not the only option.
38. But such help can also be generic. For a back-to-work woman, besides course fee funding, she may need career coaching, and job placement support.
39. That is why we set up intermediaries such as CDCs and e2i. They will help her access all the supply-side assistance out there, provide additional funding support if need be, and facilitate her job search and her placement.
40. This is how we link training and employability, which Ms Foo Mee Har spoke about. Similarly, training programmes developed under SkillsFuture supply the tools to MOM to implement Place and Train, Adapt and Grow, and Attach and Train, to help more clients.
41. With the intermediaries, we bridge the gap between demand- and supply-side support, so that workers get individualised help, not a customised grant.
Financial Support for Students at ITE, Polytechnics and AUs
42. Mr Ang Wei Neng asked if we can provide more financial support for our students in the PSEIs, particularly in the universities. This is one area of demand-side support that can be improved. Minister Heng spoke about this in the Budget statement.
43. There are currently three bursary tiers for undergraduate and Diploma students – for families with monthly household per capita income of (i) $950 and below; (ii) $951 to $1,400; and (iii) $1,401 to $1,900. For ITE students, we provide additional assistance to students from families with per capita income of $570 and below.
44. MOE has reviewed the government bursaries and will enhance it in the following ways from Academic Year 2017.
- First, we will introduce four bursary tiers across all PSEIs. This will allow us to be even more targeted in helping students from lower to middle income households.
- Second, besides per capita income, we will also look at gross monthly household income. So, to be eligible for bursaries, a student only needs to meet either of the two income criteria. So, more will qualify.
- Third, we will update the income eligibility caps based on the latest household income data. Essentially, they will all be revised upwards, which means more students will qualify.
- Finally, we will raise the bursary amounts. The increase will range between $50 and $400 across various levels, with larger increases going to the lower income students. This will bring the maximum annual bursary quantum to $4,000 for undergraduates, $2,350 for diploma students, and $1,400 for ITE students.
45. MOE will provide the details in a press release later today. With the revisions, the projected number of students expected to tap on the government bursaries is estimated to increase by 12,000 per year, to 71,000 per year. The total annual budget is estimated to increase by about $50 million, to $150 million.
46. Having built the infrastructure to support Lifelong Learning, we need to configure it – make sure that we have the right approaches, policies, processes and programmes. We are doing this actively, through the SkillsFuture Movement launched two years ago.
47. ITE, Polytechnics and Universities have therefore been revamping and improving their programmes. Let me cite a few examples.
48. There is now great emphasis on industry attachment and internship. They are championing overseas internships, so that students get early exposure to an international working environment, which Mr Zainal Sapari spoke about.
49. NUS and NTU both run overseas entrepreneurship programmes where students are attached to start-ups and tech companies in Silicon Valley, China and Europe. I was recently in Beijing for the JCBC meetings, and I was pleasantly surprised during a dialogue session to meet with a big group of students from our universities, all of whom were attached to tech startups in China.
50. SMU has introduced SMU-X, an initiative where students get to work on real-life problems faced by companies, side by side with businesses.
51. UniSIM and NTU are converting all their teaching materials for online delivery, to refresh their teaching methods and inoculate themselves against possible disruption in the future.
52. All over the system, there is much greater emphasis on interdisciplinary teaching and studies.
Education and Career Guidance
53. One critical configuration that we need to do is to ensure that our system takes into account the interests and aptitudes of our students. This is because we are simply better at doing what we like.
54. Notwithstanding this, many of our youths go with the flow, choosing their paths in higher education based on where their grades can take them, or where their friends are going. Our young need guidance and help to discover themselves, their strengths and interests.
55. We need to strengthen our Education and Career Guidance in our education system considerably, starting from secondary schools. Parl Sec Yen Ling will speak more on this later.
Expanding Aptitude-Based Admissions
56. For those who are clear what they want to pursue, we should support them as much as possible, to facilitate their admission into our PSEIs based on interests and aptitudes, and not just based on academic results. Mr Lim Wee Kiak and Mr Ang Wei Neng have asked how we can strengthen this.
57. The Universities will be expanding aptitude-based admissions for their admission exercises later this year, for up to 15% of their intake. I had announced this at COS last year, and they are implementing this in their coming academic year. But some, like SIT and SMU, have in fact been practising aptitude-based admissions on a fairly large scale and over many years.
58. As for polytechnics, since my announcement last year, they have implemented aptitude-based admissions through the Polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) last year. The outcomes are encouraging.
59. They received applications from about 8,000 O-level students, of which 2,500 successful applicants eventually had their EAE offers confirmed. The eventual EAE intake is close to 12% of the total polytechnic intake, with two Polytechnics bursting their 12.5% quota slightly. These are healthy utilisation rates for a first exercise. And as expected, I have received more appeals this year.
60. Polytechnics have given feedback that EAE is particularly useful in sectors such as early childhood education, nursing, social work, or those that involve the creative arts, where aptitude and commitment to the career are very important to succeed in these courses.
61. Given the success of the first year of implementation, MOE will increase the quota for Polytechnic EAE from 12.5% to 15%, for the 2018 Admission Year. This will mean about 500 more places included under EAE.
62. There is also scope to apply aptitude-based admissions at ITE.
63. Currently, at the Higher Nitec level, only ten out of about 50 courses are open for enrolment based on aptitude and interest. There should really be more, given that ITE courses are vocational and specialised in nature.
64. There is also a Special College Admissions Scheme in ITE, but applicants are considered based on general talents like leadership and sports, and not so much aptitude and interest.
65. Hence, today, only a small percentage of ITE students are admitted to ITE based on course-specific aptitude and interest.
66. MOE will introduce an ITE EAE, where ITE can systematically admit up to 15% of its intake via aptitude-based admissions. Like the Polytechnic EAE, ITE EAE will also be conducted before the release of N- and O-Level results.
Learning by Doing – ITE Technical Diploma
67. There is another important thing we can do for ITE students.
68. I mentioned ‘learning by doing’ as a key shift in the way we deliver higher education. Ms Foo Mee Har, Mr Thomas Chua and Mr Ang Wei Neng have urged industry and PSEIs to collaborate more closely to deliver education.
69. The ethos of ‘learning by doing’ has actually been strongest at ITE, because of its tradition of vocational education and a highly practical curriculum.
70. Today, many ITE students aspire to progress to the Polytechnics, and indeed, about a quarter of them manage to do so every year. However, while Polytechnic education is applied in nature, it is actually not quite ‘learning by doing’ in the sense of an apprenticeship, like an European apprenticeship. An ITE student still needs to score above a certain GPA, and demonstrate quite good academic abilities, before the Polytechnics will take him or her in.
71. But many ITE students are talented at using their hands, and probably also learn best by doing and practising. This is a more natural path for them to achieve mastery, across a range of fields.
72. Over time, with skills mastery, they should also have a chance to move up to management positions if they so desire.
73. Take the hotel industry for example. There are two kinds of hotel general managers. It is common to find amongst hotel general managers people who had a hotel management degree, started off as a management associate, and then eventually became general manager. But equally common is another type of general manager who starts off as an apprentice in the kitchen or service staff, moved around departments, and got to know the operations so well and became so competent that they rose up the hierarchy and became general managers.
74. So these are two distinctly different paths to the top – via development of cognitive abilities through formal education, or via ‘learning by doing’, in a structured and facilitated way.
75. Hence, we will develop a new pathway for ITE students, leading to a Technical Diploma that will be conferred by ITE.
76. Compared to a Polytechnic Diploma, the big difference is in the mode of learning – it will be apprenticeship-based. Every course will be delivered in partnership with an employer. ITE students will be able to apply for them after they graduate with a Nitec or Higher Nitec, or after a few years of working.
77. For a start, we will introduce this pathway in sectors such as Mechanical & Electrical Services Design & Supervision, Security System Engineering, Rehabilitation Therapy and Offshore & Marine. More details will be provided shortly.
78. With this new pathway, ITE students need not see Polytechnics as their only path for progression. They can advance through skills mastery and practice, by staying with ITE.
New Modes of Learning at Universities
79. ‘Learning by doing’ will also apply to Universities. Ms Foo Mee Har asked about this.
80. I recently visited the Singapore office of an American tech company. It is a big office, in the Mapletree Business Park along Alexandra Road.
81. The company believes in training Singaporeans to be competent working in digital and data-intense workplaces. And the training is not just for their own employees, but anyone interested to take up the training, because it builds up the entire ecosystem.
82. They run an intense 8-month, hands-on programme for fresh graduates to learn about data management and data analytics. I was told that everyone who graduated from the programme was immediately snapped up by the industry, because the skillset is in such shortage.
83. I was impressed by this enlightened approach in skills development. They think big and long-term. They even have a global function sited in Singapore where they are looking for their next one billion customers. Members of this House will know this company. It is Google.
84. The immediate question that sprung to my mind was: If the data analytics programme is so effective, why can’t it be part of our university education curriculum?
85. Therefore, our AUs must also co-create programmes with industry and promote ‘learning by doing’. When I attended SIT’s very first Graduation Ceremony recently, I announced that SIT and UniSIM will introduce seven new SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree Programmes. They are jointly developed and delivered in partnership with companies such as SingTel and Standard Chartered. I am glad that government agencies are also coming on board quite actively, such as the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and DSTA. And I hope over time, more will do so. In fact, I believe that MOE is a pioneer of ‘learning by doing’, through the NIE system where you don’t just study in the classroom, but also undergo a practicum outside.
86. I am happy to add that NUS will also start offering a slate of such work-study programmes this year, with courses in Information Security, Business Analytics, and Data Science and Analytics.
87. I hope such programmes for ‘learning by doing’ will proliferate across the University landscape.
88. The third phase of the transformation plan for higher education is Scale. Where we have reasonably built and configured the system, we are ready to scale – so that we can create a widespread impact, and benefit Singaporeans.
89. Scaling will help guide more Singaporeans in their training journey and career paths. It will help us reach out to workers, which Ms Cheng Li Hui spoke about.
90. I announced the effort called SkillsFuture Engage last year, where we will proactively step up efforts to connect with Singaporeans and help them benefit from SkillsFuture..
91. SkillsFuture Singapore will partner PA, CDCs, Workforce Singapore and e2i, to conduct workshops at the community level to explain SkillsFuture to Singaporeans, guide them in finding the right training programmes to attend, identify the right skills for them to learn, and advise them how to best use their SkillsFuture Credit..
92. We expect to reach out to tens of thousands of Singaporeans each year through this initiative, and roll out the programme in the middle of this year..
93. We will also make more online tools and resources available for Singaporeans to do the same, and to search and apply for jobs as well. This will be done through a portal called MySkillsFuture. We will also use the MySkillsFuture portal to publish training outcomes for selected courses. Individuals and trainees will get to rate the programmes to help others make better training decisions..
94. One of our key strengths as a society is that we have always been able to mobilise Singaporeans whenever it is necessary to re-skill our workforce or adapt to a sea-change..
95. For example, in the 80s, we launched two programmes –BEST and WISE. These were efforts to build up the literacy and numeracy of our workforce. Those were the essential skills at that time..
96. In the same period, as part of the national computerisation efforts, the Labour Movement set up the NTUC Computer Training Centre to raise basic IT literacy for workers..
97. About 10 years ago, in the run-up to the setting-up of the two Integrated Resorts, we launched the WSQ Certified Service Professional initiative, an intense 5-day programme that trained people to raise the level of their service provision and delivery. Tens of thousands went through this training..
98. I think the time has come again to undertake such a collective exercise. The workplace of the future will be different – lots of use of IT, robotics, and data. Not every worker in our workforce needs to be an IT expert or have programming skills, but everyone will need some basic working knowledge, such as an understanding of emerging technologies and their impact on our work, and the ability to interpret and use data. We also need to be equipped with a mindset for change, innovation and resilience. So a sales manager must be comfortable diving into his data to understand what is driving his sales, a taxi driver must be able to use different apps to match supply and demand, and a char kway teow hawker must be able to take electronic orders and accept e-payments..
99. SkillsFuture Singapore will roll out a new national training programme for this, called Future@Work. It will be implemented across the island, and positioned as an entry programme for all Singaporean workers, to understand the future work environment..
100. We plan to launch the programme by the end of this year. More details will be announced later..
101. We can also scale our efforts and make an impact through our PSEIs..
102. Our AUs, in particular, have done very well in international rankings, which we can all be proud of. However, these are rankings by private organisations, based on their own criteria. I agree with Mr Ang Wei Neng that such rankings may not fully reflect the public and social missions of an AU..
103. I am worried that over time, our universities will drift into the game of chasing rankings, at the expense of their public missions..
104. MOE will work with our AUs to further sharpen and articulate the public objectives of our AUs, and tying part of our resource allocation to the fulfilment of these objectives..
105. There are three objectives which we would like AUs to focus on:
- First, constantly refresh and improve teaching. This includes ‘learning by doing’, overseas exposure for students, and new methods to deliver lessons, including leveraging technology and e-learning.
- Second, champion lifelong learning. All the AUs have already set up their lifelong learning units. They now need to ramp up the programmes, especially the bite-sized modular ones. This is not a matter of just modularising existing programmes. The lifelong learning units ought to be more like innovation units or Skunkworks, constantly generating new ideas and creating new products in response to market demand and the latest developments and technologies.
- Third, realise the impact of research. As NTU’s President Bertil Andersson always tells me, there are only two kinds of research in this world – applied and not-yet applied research. All research must ultimately change lives for the better, whether it is in creating new enterprises and jobs, giving us new insights on national policies, or implementing new projects that strengthen competitiveness or improve lives.
106. Mr Pritam Singh asked how the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) will spread its grants between the humanities and social sciences.
107. Notwithstanding its name, the SSRC is meant to support the humanities too, and will fund good research projects in these disciplines.
108. In fact, let me give an example. One of the broad priority themes of the SSRC is ‘identities, social integration and resilience’. But this would not be complete without a study of Southeast Asia – its history, languages, communities, literatures. For a Singaporean identity is unintelligible without the cultural backdrop of Southeast Asia and the broader region. Hence, please be reassured that the humanities will be a part of the SSRC. Ultimately, the Council will award grants based on the quality of the research and the potential for impact.
109. Teaching, lifelong learning, impactful research – these are all areas that our AUs are already hard at work on. With a stronger alignment of missions, objectives and resource allocation, I believe this will better position our AUs to fulfil the important roles that they have in shaping the future of Singapore.
110. Madam, I have spoken about our plan to Build, Configure and Scale over the next five years. In carrying out this plan, what is the toughest challenge of all?
111. It is changing mindsets – the “die die must do it this way” kind of thinking.
- First, all of us – parents, students, educators – we will need to move our focus away from a relentless pursuit of academic grades, to the larger view of human development. As my colleague Minister Ng Chee Meng said, it is about the Joy of Learning, Entrepreneurial Dare, moral grounding, and holistic development. It is not possible to change the system overnight, but we are making important adjustments in the school system to catalyse this shift.
- Second, employers must likewise do the same. Hire based on interest, skills, and cultural fit, and not just based on grades and qualifications. Because MOE can say all we want about dialling back from an over-emphasis on academic grades, but our message will ring hollow, unless employers can demonstrate that good jobs need not necessarily come from good grades.
- Third, society needs to recognise and celebrate a wide range of successes – not just managers and leaders, but also entrepreneurs, craftsmen, technicians, sportsmen, artists. Step by step, I think we are getting there.
112. Let me put into context the mindsets we inherited that are so hard to change.
113. 40 years ago, for every Primary 1 cohort, about 5% went to university. About 65% of Primary 1 students passed the PSLE. The university’s mission at the time, if I may put it starkly, and at the risk of some caricature, was to make sure that we produce graduates to support Singapore’s economic growth.
114.That was a pragmatic generation, which had to fight for collective survival. They realised the importance and critical need for education, and hoped for their children to achieve good grades and attain good qualifications. To a large extent, many of the current generation of parents still think that way.
115. Today, times have changed. For a Primary 1 cohort, over 98% pass the PSLE. 33% go to university and graduate. Make no mistake, our goal must still be to fit graduates to an economic purpose – no one wants to graduate and not be able to find a job. But in this new era, our children have new ideas too.
116. They don’t want to be on a treadmill constantly chasing after good grades. Many people are like Kirsten, who wants to express herself through film-making, and can make a living doing it because she is very good at it.
117. So our PSEIs today must have an additional mission, to uncover and develop diverse talents, and help our young realise their dreams.
118. I am sure that when our children grow up and become parents, they will believe in multiple paths towards success. They will want their children to go through an education experience that recognises their different individual strengths. But by then, times will have changed further, and their children will again have different ideas. And they will be saying that their parents have very fixed mindsets.
119. Every generation that comes of age will transform and remake the society it lives in. That is how we progress, and education is there to help us along. That is why MOE’s mission is to mould the future of Singapore.
120. Today, perhaps we are at the starting line of a time of change and transformation. It is up to us today, to create these multiple paths and new opportunities, which will take us to many different places, but arrive at a common future – a Singapore of many talents, on a united yet multi-faceted journey of one people, and one country.