On August 17, 2017, the International School Network visited the Embassy of Singapore to Japan to interview the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Lui Tuck Yew.
The national motto of Singapore is “Onwards, Singapore”. H.E. Mr. Lui explained to us that Singapore, as a young nation, continues to strive without resting, with the recognition that its best days are still ahead. An important cultural value of Singapore that H.E. Mr. Lui highlighted is meritocracy. He explained that regardless of family or background, if people can prove themselves, they can move forwards. He believes in the importance of rounded individuals; he sees that each person has strengths in different forms. His message towards students is therefore to “do what you love” and “love what you do”.
Diversity is another important cultural value in Singapore. H.E. Mr. Lui described Singapore as being a multicultural nation, as Singaporeans come from various origins such as Chinese, Malay, and Indian. H.E. Mr. Lui hopes that children from across the globe can be appreciative of how differently people live and be thankful for their own backgrounds. H.E. Mr. Lui recalled that he grew up during the era before Singaporean independence, when only about 5% of the population were fortunate enough to attend university. Now, the country has changed into an industrialized environment with insurmountable opportunities. H.E. Mr. Lui emphasized that people from fortunate backgrounds should be appreciative of their opportunities and actively engage in contributions to help others.
As the Ambassador of Singapore to Japan, H.E. Mr. Lui’s goal is to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries through the nations' shared values of trade, law, and cultural appreciation. Although Singapore is a small country in terms of area and population, the country is the largest Asian investor in Japan. H.E. Mr. Lui introduced to us a recent program, Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET), in which 38 Singaporeans were invited to various parts of Japan, especially the rural areas, for a year or two. H.E. Mr. Lui hopes that those Singaporeans can act as “little ambassadors” who can interact and live forever in the memories of the local Japanese people.
(Reported by Madoka Nishina)