SINGAPORE, July 27 (Xinhua): Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has called for the South-East Asian nation remaining open to immigrants, saying it is critical for the nation to continue to thrive.
"Those who may not be born and bred here can contribute to the next chapter of the Singapore Story," local media cited Heng as saying on Wednesday.
Heng made the remarks here on Tuesday at the launch of a new book titled An Illustrious Heritage: The History Of Tan Tock Seng And Family. Published in both English and Chinese, the book is about the life stories of Singapore's famous pioneer Tan Tock Seng and his descendants.
Tan Tock Seng, who came to Singapore from Malacca in 1819, was one of the most successful businessmen and philanthropists in the history of Singapore. One of his contributions to the country was that he donated for the construction of a hospital in 1844 to care for the poor of all races. The Tan Tock Seng Hospital named after him remains one of the main hospitals in Singapore till now.
Heng noted that Singapore was built on the back of the efforts of its pioneers, many of them being immigrants like Tan Tock Seng.
"They faced daunting challenges and dire conditions, but their sheer tenacity and a sense of solidarity forged the Singapore that we know today," said the deputy prime minister. "I urge everyone to step forward to contribute in our own ways to build a stronger and more cohesive Singapore."