The Republic must build a fair and just society which values every individual – regardless of their circumstances, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech at the 50th anniversary gala dinner of SPD on Thursday evening (Nov 27).
SPD looks after the interests of those with physical disabilities and provides them social support and employment opportunities.
Mr Lee said organisations like SPD serve as a reminder of what Singapore aspires to be as a society. “Our society should value every person, no matter who he is, what he was born with or without, because every person matters to us. And these are the basic principles that should guide us as we build a fair and just society,” he said.
Prime Minister Lee said the Government has been shifting its approach to social support. For instance, it is developing new policies which offer more social support for elderly, low-income and disadvantaged groups.
But even as the Government steps up its efforts, Mr Lee said groups like the SPD continue to play a critical role. Mr Lee noted how the organisation has aided 4,700 beneficiaries each year. This includes helping youths with disabilities pursue their studies and training people with disabilities for jobs.
At the gala dinner, several organisations were honoured for their support of SPD. Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation, Loyang Tua Pek Kong, NatSteel Holdings, Presto Expat Motoring Services and San Wang Wu Ti Religious Society received the inaugural SPD Patron Awards, given to donors who contributed at least S$100,000 thrice or more.
Microsoft Singapore, StarHub Ltd and Far East Organization received the SPD Distinguished Patron Awards for their donation of over S$1 million to SPD.