• Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets With Singapore's Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets With Singapore's Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam (Photo : Getty Images)

In the Chinese New Year gathering in Singapore, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said that the new Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) will develop and promote Singapore's unique culture among the younger generation. He believes that the country's strength comes from its individual Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures.

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"We are not China Chinese, we are not Indian Indians, we are not Malaysian Malays. We are Singaporean Chinese, we are Singaporean Indians and we are Singaporean Malays. And that is different from all these countries," he said.

More than 800 community leaders, government officials and sectoral representatives attended the Chinese New Year gathering. A number of ministers and MPs were also present which included Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chang Chun Sing and Education Ministers Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung.

In light of the uncertain global environment, Shanmugam believes that culture is the key in helping Singaporeans navigate through it.

"To have the courage and conviction, you need to be strongly rooted, and rooting comes from culture. If we forget that, I think Singapore will not be Singapore, and we will be buffeted and turned over at the first big wave," said the minister.

The $110 million Chinese cultural centre is 11-storey high which features a multi-purpose hall, a theater with a 532-seating capacity, a rooftop garden, studios for recitals and music recordings and rooms for talks and exhibitions. The minister said that the SCCC goes far beyond serving as a venue for cultural activities.

"It has to become a centre for our people to fuse together and build our own culture, taking and drawing from 5,000 years of history. That is what will make us strong," he emphasized.

While Singaporeans may come from different races, the people are the perfect example there can be unity despite the diversity of cultures. And perhaps this is the most significant mark that Singapore can make in history.