Special Guest Tharman Shanmugaratnam joins the Labour Movement in the celebrating National Day at Bird Paradise.
More than 1,500 participants attended NTUC’s National Day Observance Ceremony on 8 August 2023 at Bird Paradise to mark the nation’s 58th birthday.
The event was attended by union leaders, tripartite partners, NTUC staff and families, and special guest Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The observance ceremony included singing the national anthem, reciting the national pledge and enjoying various National Day-themed activities such as song medleys and interactive quizzes.
In her welcome address, NTUC President Mary Liew said that this year’s National Day theme, ‘Onwards as One’, encapsulates the essence of unity and cooperation.
She also said that the theme emphasised the importance of supporting and respecting each other as individuals to build a cohesive and inclusive Singapore.
Ms Liew added: “As a Labour Movement, this cannot be more true for us and our tripartite partners. With a shared purpose and collective efforts, we will continue championing the interests and welfare of every Singapore worker.”
NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng also expressed his appreciation to union leaders, staff and tripartite partners for their contributions to uplifting workers’ wages, welfare and work prospects.
In his speech, Mr Ng said that championing workers from all walks of life remains NTUC’s core mission, and training is its focus to help workers be future-ready with relevant skill sets.
“We are forging new possibilities to keep up with the changing and challenging times so that every worker can thrive,” said Mr Ng.
Mr Tharman’s attendance at this year’s ceremony marks a significance leading up to the presidential election.
In his speech at the event, Mr Tharman said that how NTUC is refreshing its compact with workers is very important for the future.
Mr Tharman touched on the importance of the Labour Movement’s work in uplifting workers through lifelong training, protecting vulnerable workers, and helping to ensure a better retirement for Singaporeans.
He added: “The most important priority of the Labour Movement and the whole Singapore system is to invest in our workers throughout their lives in their skills and capabilities.”
NTUC’s National Day Observance Ceremony is held annually.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, NTUC held the observance ceremonies virtually in 2020 and 2021. The ceremony returned to a physical event in 2022 at Gardens by the Bay.