By Jeremy Au Yong
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew yesterday called on new citizens to play an active part to fit in.
Integration is a two-way street, he said, urging them to make an effort to reach out to Singaporeans.
'Singaporeans will embrace you if you want to be embraced. Make the effort to meet Singaporeans more than halfway and they will respond positively,' he said during a brief address at the Tanjong Pagar GRC citizenship ceremony.
'Over time, you will imbibe our culture and adopt our ways of living. You will meld with your fellow citizens.'
In recent months, many calls had been made for Singaporeans to reach out to new citizens. Yesterday, facing about 250 new citizens, MM Lee took the opportunity to remind the new citizens of their responsibility.
'Now you can participate in making Singapore a vibrant society that gives equal opportunities to all, regardless of race, language or religion and in housing, health services, education, jobs,' he said.
He stressed that the meritocratic system meant the country treats all citizens equally.
What they earn or make in business depends on their effort, he told the new citizens.
Whether Singapore-born or naturalised, he said all must pull together to help the country through the economic downturn.
'That we have done well in the last 44 years does not guarantee that we will continue to do so. We must pull together, adjust swiftly to changes in the world economy,' he said.
source: Integration a 2-way street