Help build a better Singapore, PM Lee urges youths

Happy Youth Day to all young people. Felt your pulse and energy at the PAYM Loves Red launch this morning. 6,000 youths are celebrating Singapore’s birthday and giving back to the community in different ways.

The Government has set up a $100m National Youth Fund to help those who want to step forward to help others. I hope more will do so.

To everyone who took time to come down and take part this morning, thank you! And to those in school, enjoy your day off tomorrow! – LHL

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Help build a better S’pore, PM urges youths

SINGAPORE — Many countries are battling a high youth unemployment rate, but Singapore has been fortunate and the young should take advantage of what they have and build a “better” Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

Addressing young volunteers on Youth Day as he launched a two-month long campaign, PAYM Loves Red, organised by the People’s Association’s Youth Movement, Mr Lee urged them to see the country’s achievements as a base from which to scale greater heights.

“We look at the difficulties that the Europeans have, taking care of the young people. One quarter of the young people are unemployed, and some countries like Spain or Greece, half the people are unemployed,” he said. “Fortunately in Singapore, we are not in that position. People graduate — whether it’s from ITE, polytechnic or university — the jobs are there.”

Mr Lee said that building a better Singapore would require a collective effort, where the successful contribute back to society while the Government does more to help the less fortunate by strengthening safety nets.

Referring to the S$100 million in the new National Youth Fund to help youths champion social causes, the Prime Minister urged the next generation to step forward to build a softer, more compassionate nation.

“We are building Singapore for the new generation, for the young. Take advantage of what you have, build on it and take it higher, stronger, brighter for many years to come,” he said.

Through PAYM Loves Red, some 6,000 youths from the organisation will be involved in an initiative to show love and loyalty to Singapore for its 48th birthday through over 100 different project, based on the themes of the arts, culture, sports, environment and community service.

The activities include singing National Day songs, doing a “bread run” for the needy and taking less fortunate children on a kite-flying excursion.

PAYM Loves Red will take place till Aug 31. The campaign, in its second year, is expected to reach out to 27,000 young people and residents islandwide.

Sengkang West Member of Parliament Lam Pin Min, who attended the launch yesterday, said young Singaporeans are facing increasing competition for jobs but there are still many opportunities available out there.

Nonetheless, noting that he has come across Singaporeans who are selective in what jobs they would like to do, Mr Lam said the young should bear in mind that every job provides a “learning opportunity”.

“It’s a stepping stone to more experiences and future opportunities,” he said.

Help build a better S’pore, PM urges youths

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the PAYM Loves Red launch yesterday. Photo: People’s Association

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