RECORDED MESSAGE BY ASSOC PROF MUHAMMAD FAISHAL IBRAHIM MINISTER OF STATE, MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS AND MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, MP FOR NEE SOON GRC FOR GURU JAYANTHI CELEBRATIONS
I would like to congratulate the Mission in commemorating Sree Narayana Guru’s 167th Birth Anniversary this year. This year, SNM is celebrating this special occasion virtually consecutively over two years and I am heartened to see the strong support from all of you despite the challenges of COVID-19.
The occasion today celebrates the contributions of Sree Narayana Guru to the community at large regardless of race, language, or religion. This resonates well with Singapore, a multi-racial nation, made up of the same belief system – regardless of race, language, or religion.
From a small hut in No. 48 Soon Keat Road to today – SNM now runs the SNM Nursing Home, two Senior Care Centres, Meranti Home@Pelangi Village and the SNM Care Centre in Jalan Besar
I extend my heartiest congratulations to SNM for being awarded its second nursing home along Yishun Ave 6. This is a testament to all the meaningful work done by the Mission for more than 70 years
As a charity, it is very imperative to leverage on community partnerships to move forward, especially during these pandemic times. We need to build on our partnership efforts so that we continue to transform and grow to do good for the community.
I am glad to know that SNM has also reached out to the community through its slew of community programmes to motivate and help beneficiaries develop new skills.
Nursing homes like SNM play a very important role in helping seniors age in place. To echo this sentiment, SNM has established the Residents’ Committee to encourage empowerment amongst its residents. This is an excellent idea as it allows residents play an integral part in decision-making on behalf of residents for the home.
I am positive that SNM will continue to support the Government in building a strong ecosystem for our seniors to age in place.
When COVID-19 vaccination became available for Singaporeans, there was uncertainty amongst our people as they were afraid of the effects resulting from the vaccine. But the vaccination was an important step – it helps in increasing the immunity of one, making it harder for the virus to strike. I am very appreciative of SNM’s effort in ensuring that their staff and residents are vaccinated. Earlier this year, SNM also encouraged the Indian community to consider vaccination through its Indian Leaders Community Forum. The forum aimed at dispelling the myths and fears of the community about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The battle against COVID-19 is everyone’s effort! It is through such collective efforts that we inch ourselves closer to a COVID-19-free nation.
I hope you take some time to appreciate the efforts of the Mission. They have done tremendously well over the years, playing a part in our healthcare sector as well as the community. Safeguarding the wellbeing of seniors is a collective effort, and each of us can play our part to support one another.
I thank all of you for working together to make Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) a trusted charitable organisation and wish the Mission success in the near future.
RECORDED MESSAGE BY MS INDRANEE RAJAH, MINISTER, PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE, SECOND MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, FOR SREE NARAYANA MISSION’S GURU JAYANTHI CELEBRATIONS ON SATURDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
Greeting / Introduction
Good evening everyone.
It is a great pleasure and privilege to be here with you at Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore)’s first virtual Guru Jayanthi celebrations today. I would like to congratulate the Mission in commemorating Sree Narayana Guru’s 166th Birth Anniversary this year.
The celebration today embodies the contributions of Sree Narayana Guru in helping the community at large, regardless of race, language or religion. This resonates well with Singapore, a multi-racial society, who embraces unity in diversity.
The Mission also crossed its 70th milestone last year – a strong testimony to the good work they have been advocating in Singapore thus far. Today, SNM has made its mark in running the SNM Nursing Home, two Senior Care Centres, Meranti Home@Pelangi Village and the recently opened SNM Care Centre in Jalan Besar.
Supporting the Government’s Ecosystem for Seniors
- Our seniors have played a big role in shaping Singapore today. The Government has invested $3 billion from 2015 to 2019 to care for the healthcare needs of our seniors. By 2023, we hope to build more senior-friendly communities for our seniors to lead active and meaningful lives.
- Nursing homes like SNM play a very important role in helping seniors age in place. I am happy to know that SNM has also introduced the SNM Residents’ Committee to encourage empowerment amongst residents. This provides them the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of residents for the home.
- I am positive that SNM will continue to support the Government in building a strong ecosystem for our seniors.
Advancing with Technology
- Since the start of the year, we have been grappling with COVID-19. Singapore went through Circuit Breaker, and we had to take cautious steps to curtail the virus from spreading within the community.
This also brought senior-centric activities to a halt and visitations in Nursing Homes were temporarily put on hold in the interest of the seniors.
In order to carry on with the new norm, most healthcare organisations leveraged on technology such to ensure that seniors continue to keep mentally active, and keep next-of-kin regularly posted on the well-being of their loved ones.
This year’s celebration is also a good example of how technology can be used to bring a community together – A first virtual celebration for SNM.
Though making the digital leap may seem like a big hurdle, getting seniors to embrace technology during this pandemic is certainly admirable. With safe distancing measures likely here to stay, digitalisation offers us a way to continue living life to the fullest.
The Giving Culture
- The pandemic has also brought together great participation from the community. I am heartened to see the immense support coming from individuals to organisations – the emerging of a giving culture towards #SGunited.
- 6. On that same note, the government will continue to support the community in building a stronger giving culture. At the 2020 Budget announcement this year, the Ministry of Social and Family Development and National Council of Social Service will set up the Community Capability Trust to fundraise and support our social service sector partners in enhancing their capabilities and capacities to serve the community.
Building Stronger Partnerships for Greater Good
- As a charitable organisation, it is very important to build strong partnership within the community, especially during a pandemic situation like the present. This is also part of the government’s Transformation and Growth efforts.
- It is through working together with like-minded partners that greater good for the community can be achieved to help strengthen capabilities and governance.
- I am glad to know that SNM has also reached out to the community through its slew of community programmes to motivate and help beneficiaries develop new skills.
- This evening, apart from the wonderful performances you will be watching, I hope you take some time to appreciate the efforts of the Mission.
- They have done tremendously well over the years, playing a part in our healthcare sector as well as the community. Safeguarding the wellbeing of seniors is a collective effort, and each of us can play our part to support one another.
- I thank all of you for working together to make Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) a trusted charitable organisation and wish you a wonderful evening ahead.
Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) Trustees, Executive Committee and Members
Sponsors, donors, volunteers, and supporters of the Mission
Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of all of you, I would like to express special thanks to Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development, for his congratulatory message this year. We are deeply thankful for his unstinting support with SNM over the years.
1. It is my pleasure to welcome you to Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore)’s second virtual Guru Jayanthi celebrations today.
2. This year, we mark Sree Narayana Guru’s 167th Birth Anniversary.
Celebrating Guru’s 167th Birth Anniversary
3. It has been almost two years since COVID-19 hit our shores. Due to this pandemic, many changes have been made to accommodate a new normal.
4. Last year, we successful held our first Guru Jayanthi celebrations virtually. Our performances, discourse sessions and Guru Pooja was held through virtual means including the Guest-of-Honour’s message.
5. The only difference was that we were not able to hold our annual “Anadanam” lunch. With technology, we were able to continue our Guru Jayanthi celebrations despite the challenges of COVID-19.
6. This year, we continue to battle the virus. Like last year, we have taken to the virtual platforms to celebrate Guru’s 167th birth anniversary. We must continue to embrace technology, to help us bridge the physical limitations brought upon us by COVID-19.
SNM Awarded Second Nursing Home
7. This year, we crossed a special milestone when MOH awarded SNM the license to operate a second nursing home in Yishun Ave 6.
8. This comes after more than 40 years since we first admitted our first two residents in our first nursing home. The nursing home is slated to complete in 2025 and will accommodate up to 300 beds. We hope to continue serving the community with our second nursing home and we invite you to join us as volunteers and make a difference for the vulnerable in the community.
9. A big thank you to the management team that put in the successful bid for the second nursing home.
Celebrating Our Heroes
10. I am also happy to share that this year, 78 staff were awarded the Hero Award (COVID-19) at the Singapore Health Quality Service Award, which was held virtually.
11. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all those on the frontline and in essential services who keep us safe, and who keep the nation moving. Thank you for your dedication and contribution
Support from the Community
12. We have also received an outpouring of support from individuals to organisations, who have stepped forward to help the vulnerable in our society.
13. It is heartening to see how the community continues to support us – and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards our new normal.
14. Let me share with you all a teaching from Sree Narayana Guru
15. I would like to thank the Cultural Sub-Committee, SNM management and staff for planning and executing this year’s programme under these exceptional circumstances.
16. Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy the cultural show, and thank you for your unwavering support!
Speech by DPM and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) Chathayam Celebrations on 15 September 2019.
Mr Jayadev Unnithan, President Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore);
Members of Sree Narayana Mission Executive Committee and Trustees;
HE Mr Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India;
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure to be with you today, to celebrate Sree Narayana Guru’s 165th Birthday, and to be a part of your Chathayam celebrations. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly, and thank you for the lovely dance performance by the residents, staff and volunteers.
The story of the Sree Narayana Mission is an important reflection of how our forefathers came together to build Singapore – how the different communities forged a common identity, and adopted the same spirit of giving back and reaching out to one another.
The Mission has a long and rich history. It was founded by a group of Malayalees in 1948, at a time when Singapore was picking up the pieces after the Second World War. By the 1960s, the Mission had put in place a host of welfare initiatives, such as meals-on-wheels programmes, tuition classes and bursaries for less-privileged students.
Over the years, the Mission has grown and continued to care for those in need. As the needs of Singapore society evolved, so too did the Mission. It has kept pace and shaped its programmes to suit the needs of our society.
Today, the Sree Narayana Mission’s facilities include: This nursing home, which provides long-term residential care; Two senior care centres, one here and another in Woodlands; and a Welfare Home, Meranti Home @ Pelangi Village, that provides reception, care and rehabilitation to destitute persons.
Earlier today, I had the chance to tour the facilities here. I am impressed by what I saw. This nursing home houses a 24/7 Dementia-Friendly Go-To Point, which serves as a resource centre for the general public, persons with dementia, and caregivers. Today we also opened a new rehabilitation room with state-of-the-art equipment. I had the opportunity to speak to several of the residents who were using the facilities there, and one common story that they told me, was that although they have been on these machines for just a few months, and for some – a few weeks, they have seen an improvement in their strengths. They were able to walk better and they felt happier. With Singaporeans living longer and an ageing population, such initiatives are a crucial source of support for the community.
Creating a Caring and Cohesive Society
The Sree Narayana Mission embodies values that are important in making our society more caring and cohesive. Values that mirror what Singapore holds dear, such as a spirit of community that embraces multiracialism, and a spirit of partnership which takes a many helping hands approach to serving those in need.
First, is the spirit of community. Multiculturalism is enshrined in your mission, “to serve with care and compassion, regardless of race, religion and language”. From its very beginning, Sree Narayana Mission has served Singaporeans of all races and religions. Its facilities remain open to all. Its bursaries have benefited not just Indian students, but also those from the Chinese and Malay communities.
I am heartened that the Sree Narayana Mission continues to uphold multiracialism, and continues to reach out to communities of all races and religions. One very important cheerful fact is that you serve people of all races and religions. I also see many volunteers and donors from all races and religions here today.
The second key value that the Sree Narayana Mission embodies is the spirit of partnership. The Mission does not work alone. It believes in collaborating with others, government agencies, companies and other community groups, to achieve better outcomes for your beneficiaries. The Mission has been a steadfast partner of the National Council of Social Service since the 1960s, and has been appointed a Social Service Agency by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to run Meranti Home @ Pelangi Village. The Mission has also undertaken several collaborative projects with other groups, including: “Heartwarmers 100=50”, a collaboration with grocery retailer Sheng Siong and volunteer group Heartwarmers to provide subsidised groceries to the less privileged; and “Share-A-Pot”, a collaboration with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital aiming to improve nutrition and fitness among senior citizens.
Earlier on, Mr Jayadev also outlined some of these, together with many other collaborations with many volunteer groups. Sree Narayana has set a very good example. I hope that more Singaporeans can also adopt this spirit of partnership, and work more closely with one another, be it through the community or with the government, to pursue common goals. Because by working together, we can pool our knowledge, resources and skills together to create more robust and comprehensive solutions. And by working together, we build a project, a community, a home, a nation, and a future that we can call our own.
Building Our Future Singapore Together
The Sree Narayana celebrations coincide with our commemoration of the Singapore Bicentennial. It is timely that we take this opportunity to look back at what our forefathers have achieved, and also look ahead at what else we need to do to build our future Singapore.
Looking back, we see that many who had come before us had contributed selflessly to the community. It was through their acts of generosity, many of which transcended racial and religious lines, that a Singapore identity emerged. The Sree Narayana Mission is part of this story. This is a community that believes in the virtues of giving back and making a difference. The Sree Narayana Mission also holds a significant place in our modern history – it is at your Chathayam celebrations in 1965 that our founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew told Singaporeans to “never fear”, and we would transform Singapore from mudflats to a metropolis. More than half a century later, Sree Narayana Mission not only stood the test of time, but also stood witness to the dramatic development of Singapore. We were surrounded by mudflats then. Today, we stand alongside skyscrapers and modern public housing.
The Government did not achieve this alone. It was only possible through the grit and resilience of Singaporeans, and the steadfast commitment of partners like Sree Narayana Mission, who came together to build our home. We are not done building Singapore. We will never be.
The Government is committed to working not only for you, but also with you, to build our shared future. Therefore, I hope that more Singaporeans will embody the spirit of community and partnership of Sree Narayana Mission. Come forward with your ideas and views; Have an open heart and an open mind; Work together to put our ideas into action.
Together, we can build a better community and a better Singapore for ourselves and for future generations. Thank you.
Singaporeans Must Embody Spirit of Partnership – DPM Heng Swee Keat at Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore)’s Chathayam Celebrations.
Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) celebrated Chathayam on 15 September 2019 to commemorate Sree Narayana Guru’s 165th birth anniversary. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat was the Guest-of-Honour, where he urged Singaporeans to embody the pioneer generation spirit of partnership and community to build a shared future for Singaporeans, in his address.
The celebrations coincide with Singapore’s bicentennial commemoration, where the nation looks back at the contributions and achievements of our forefathers and also look ahead to building future Singapore
DPM said ‘The Mission is an important reflection of how our forefathers came together to build Singapore – how the different communities forged a common identity, and adopted the same spirit of giving back and reaching out to one another.’
Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) also holds a significant place in Singapore’s history, when founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew spoke of transforming Singapore from mudflats to a metropolis city and told Singaporeans to “never fear”, at the Chathayam celebrations, which were held on 12 September 1965.
The celebrations also witnessed the opening of ‘Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) Rehabilitation Room’, which features seven new equipment specially designed for eldercare by the Helsinki University Research (HUR) from Finland.
Residents also shared their experiences on how the new equipment benefited them.
The celebrations also included an interactive welcome dance, which was specially put together by SNM residents, volunteers and staff, who performed to Singapore’s iconic song ‘Home’.
The event was attended by over 1,000 guests and members of the public.