The Chinese have a saying "强国必先强民" - "To build a strong country, first you need to build strong citizens."
The recent passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, has underscored the need for Singaporeans, young and old, to continue the work of nation building.
And in order to achieve this, we must recognise that it is a team-effort. Like the early leaders of the pioneer generation, the ability to work as a team allows us to bring our various strengths together and overcome adversity. This is the tenacity and resiliency that we hope to see in the students. Our veteran teachers created some teachable moments in today's training to address this.
We see many of the apprentices improving not only in terms of skill, but also in attitude and spirit. Damien is already helping to translate and assist Master Loh during their group sessions. Isaac and his group are actively asking Master Chan on how the tactics and appplication of 5 Ancestors' Fist in self-defence.
At this moment in our nation's history, we hope that the apprentices will be able to seize the moment and be empowered and encouraged in their committment to continue to build a strong Singapore for themselves and for future Singaporeans.