Speech by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister Of State for Health, at the Official Opening Ceremony of the 50plus Expo 2015, on 16 May 2015

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.            Good Morning. I am delighted to join you this morning at the opening ceremony of the 50plus EXPO.

50 years : The Start of a “Second Growth”

2.            The 50plus EXPO this year is extra special, because as a nation, we are also celebrating our Golden Jubilee.  We have come very far as a nation within the last 50 years. I am confident that the next 50 years will be no less exciting, as we embark on the next stage of our development as a more mature nation and a more established economy.

3.            As it is for a country, so it is for individuals. In this day and age where it is increasingly becoming common to live past 80 years, 50 years is somewhat only a half way mark in our lives. At 50, there are still decades ahead of us. As individuals, 50 years old can be the start of a period of “second growth” too, where we learn new things, pursue new careers and experience new things.  Indeed, when the Ministerial Committee of Ageing held a series of some 50 focus group discussions last year to hear ideas from Singaporeans on how to achieve successful ageing, we met with many enthusiastic post 50 year old active agers. They are full of life and suggestions. They proposed that we should provide more opportunities for older Singaporeans to learn, not just for employment, but for learning’s sake. They gave ideas on how we can bring programmes closer to the heartlands to help seniors keep healthy. Many of them also want to continue to contribute to our community through volunteerism.

50plus EXPO

4.            The government will continue to work on expanding the opportunities for active ageing. We also want to partner more stakeholders – employers, non-profit organizations, social enterprises – to promote lifelong employability, lifelong learning and active ageing.  

5.            This 50plus Expo is an example. The Expo is a platform to reach out to seniors and prepare them for successful ageing. It aims to match seniors with opportunities such as learning and volunteerism opportunities. At this Expo, we have partnered more than 160 voluntary welfare organisations and community partners to reach out to seniors. They will be offering tips on health, wellness, technology trends and retirement planning. Representatives from RSVP would also be at the Inspire Zone, ready to share more about volunteering opportunities.

6.            I am pleased to announce that, as part of our SG50 celebrations, seniors will be able to sign up for learning courses for free. This is one of the “goodies” of the SG50 Seniors package which the Ministerial Committee on Ageing has put together with various companies and organizations for our seniors but only for this special year. The courses which are offered by various organisations including Voluntary Welfare Organisations will run till the end of the year. Seniors can choose from over 400 courses across a wide range of topics such as arts and culture, business, IT and culinary skills. Do check out the course offerings at the Learning Avenue. We hope that this exclusive offer would encourage more seniors to sign up for courses this year.

Conclusion

7.      Let me end by thanking our partners in this Expo for promoting active ageing with us. To the seniors who personify active ageing, I applaud you and may you continue to grow and glow in this journey of active ageing. For the rest of you who are here for the first time, I would like to encourage you to take the first step, and take advantage of the privileges in the SG50 Seniors package to sign up for the courses that might interest you and begin your rewarding journey toward successful ageing. 

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