Prime Minister Lawrence Wong inaugurated the National Family Festival 2024, emphasizing the importance of families as the foundation of society and outlining government support for families at different life stages.

On May 25, 2024, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong delivered a speech at the launch of the National Family Festival. The event took place at the Gardens by the Bay, marking the beginning of a month-long celebration aimed at promoting family bonding and values in Singapore.

Prime Minister Wong was joined by Mr. Keith Magnus, members of the Families for Life Council, his Cabinet colleague Mr. Masagos, and other distinguished guests. In his speech, Wong highlighted the significance of families in society, describing them as the “bedrock” of Singapore. He noted that within the family unit, individuals learn essential values such as love, trust, and responsibility, which are crucial for the nation’s social fabric.

The Prime Minister praised the Families for Life Council for evolving the event from a handful of activities over a weekend to a comprehensive month-long festival. He expressed confidence that the festival, coinciding with the June school holidays, would provide numerous opportunities for families to spend quality time together.

Wong also discussed the high priority Singaporeans place on their families, as reflected in various surveys and engagements, including the Forward Singapore exercise. He emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting families through various policies tailored to different life stages. These include helping young couples purchase their first homes, providing childcare and education support for young children, and ensuring healthcare and retirement security for seniors.

In addition to policy support, Wong stressed the importance of changing societal mindsets regarding family roles. He advocated for a more balanced approach where both men and women can pursue their aspirations and participate equally in family life. The Prime Minister acknowledged the progress made in encouraging fathers to take paternity leave but noted that more could be done.

The speech also addressed the need for flexible work arrangements to help balance work and family life. Wong mentioned the recently released Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement Requests, which aim to promote open communication between employers and employees about flexible work options.

The Prime Minister concluded by calling for collective efforts to make Singapore more family-friendly. He commended the Families for Life Council and its volunteers for their contributions and expressed confidence in the continued success of the movement. Wong likened the nurturing of family relationships to gardening, emphasizing that building strong family ties requires time, effort, and patience.

Wong encouraged everyone to cherish and nurture their family bonds, highlighting that the true measure of success lies in the relationships we build with our loved ones. He urged all Singaporeans to work together to create a Singapore Made for Families, where enriching family life and creating happy memories are top priorities.

Source – PMO