As Singapore celebrated Lunar New Year this past weekend with friends and families, some were still at work keeping public amenities going. Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, along with other ministers, paid tribute to these workers on their Facebook pages.
PM Lee visited Singapore's largest power station, Senoko Energy, on 28 January, the first day of the New Year. He wrote on his Facebook page: "While we are on holiday taking basic amenities like electricity and water for granted, these workers are watchfully manning the systems, making sure nothing goes wrong."
He added: "They, and many others like them, sacrifice public holidays, weekends, and especially family time to keep Singapore humming smoothly every single day. As we go out visiting over the festive period, let’s not forget their ‘power’-ful efforts! Thank you for keeping Singapore going!"
He also shared a video of his visit, where he is seen congratulating and meeting with staff members, and understanding the nuances of their work.
PM Lee was accompanied by labour chief and minister in the prime minister's office Chan Chun Sing, who shared details about meetings with transport workers.
He wrote on Facebook: "Our bus captains too, work through the early mornings and holidays. It’s a job that may seem easy to some, but it can be challenging to manoeuvre our public buses while adhering to standard timings and maintaining service standards. Grateful for their hard work and sacrifices!"
Similarly, deputy prime minister Teo Chee Hean paid tribute to police officers from Pasir Ris Neighbourhood Police Centre. He shared photos of himself with the officers at a table, as they enjoyed some pandan cake and drinks.
The Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP highlighted how "they'll be hard at work keeping us safe as we enjoy ourselves over the next few days" - reminding readers to thank police officers and wish them a happy new year as well.
Additionally, transport minister Khaw Boon Wan too showed his appreciation to transport workers. In light of the year of the rooster, he noted how the qualities of the animals - optimism, confidence and diligence - "will be relevant for our transport sector".
He posted a photo of himself with transport employees from SBS Transit, SMRT, Tower Transit and Go-Ahead Singapore, holding oranges and festive couplets. Khaw encouraged readers to "spare a smile and kind thoughts for the many transport workers who are working over the long weekend connecting us with our family and friends".
On the eve of Lunar New Year, PM Lee Hsien Loong shared his Chinese New Year message 2017, where he highlighted the need for renewal in the economy, saying the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE), led by ministers Heng Swee Keat and S Iswaran, will deliver its report soon, setting out strategies for growth in the next 10 to 15 years.
"It will identify new and promising industries and sectors, and plans to ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy many opportunities when they enter the workforce. The Budget will follow up with concrete measures to implement the CFE proposals," he wrote in his Facebook post.
He called out the recent economic restructuring, saying it is "hard work for both businesses and workers. We know this from experience."
"It is not easy for workers to learn new ways to do things or to switch jobs. Neither is it easy for businesses to change the way they work, or develop innovative products and new markets. But we have to persevere with upgrading, because it is the only way to improve the lives of Singaporeans," he wrote.
Expressing confidence that the nation can succeed in this mandate, he noted the need for all involved parties to tackle such challenges together. "Government, businesses and workers all play their part, coming together to plan ahead, support one another and seize new opportunities," he said.
Lead photo / iStock