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Young Expressions

30 March 2002

Cultivating Entreprenuerial Spirit in Asia

Hello and welcome to Young Expressions, where we feature the writings of young people in Singapore. In this edition we bring you the second of a four part special, that focuses on four university students from Singapore, who'll be joining 20 of their contemporaries from five other Asian countries for the upcoming Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative that will take place in July.

 The four student Ambassadors from  Singapore selected to participate in  the 5th Hitachi Young Leaders  Initiative.
 They are: (clockwise from left)  Gerald Goh, Singapore Management
 University; Mervyn Sek and Mustafa  Izzuddin, National University of
 Singapore and Rita Zamzamah Binte  Mohamed Nazeer, Nanyang
 Technological University.

In today's programme, we meet Gerald Goh, 2nd year Finance student with the Singapore Management University. He is one of the four Singapore student ambassadors who'll be attending the 5th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative.

Every Chinese New Year dinner, shortly after our sumptuous reunion dinner, my relatives will gather the younger members of my extended family together and regale us with stories of their childhood and tales of what it was like growing up in newly independent Singapore.

This year, the stories were told as usual, however, against the backdrop of Singapore’s worst economic recession in 40 years, I could not help but notice that the themes this year were more somber and contemplative than before. Gone were the flippant tales about past foibles and, in their place, there were pensive reflections about economic hardships in the earlier years and the importance of keeping close family ties. Another observation I made was that, despite the current downturn, there was an unspoken, but unmistakable, confidence that, no matter how tough the present situation got, Singaporeans would overcome it, eventually. I thought about what had been said and I wondered if this same quiet, assured optimism was to be found in my peers or myself, even. Would we have that same peace of mind when we are forced to confront the challenges that lay ahead?

My generation has received a lot of bad press recently. Some critics have branded as fussy, irresponsible job hoppers, while others have questioned our ability withstand hardship and commitment to our homeland. Well, I hope that by standing up here today, as a representative of the young people of Singapore, I can help, in some small way, to allay those fears and doubts. I believe that the Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI) is the perfect opportunity to show to the nation and, indeed, the rest of the world that Singaporean youth are concerned with the issues involved in nation building.

I also believe that HYLI’s themes this year, with their focus on entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility, will facilitate the generation and exchange of ideas amongst like-minded youth from around the region. The issues that will be raised over the course of this event will undoubtedly benefit not only the participants, but the nation as well. With that, I would like to say that I am delighted to be a part of this Initiative, and look forward to the working closely with my ASEAN counterparts in the months ahead.

22 March — Young Photographers series : Winner of the Photographer of the Year Award (SAFRA) - Yian Huang .
15 March — Young Photographers series - the Poet Photographer Leonard Goh.

Dealing with the War in Iraq as Singaporeans.

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Singapore takes first step to help Iraqi war victims.
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Young Photographers series : From the Stage to the Shutterbox - Vivian Lee.
The Write Stuff
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