WELCOME REMARKS BY MS QUAH LEY HOON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE, AT THE LAUNCH OF MPA MARITIME BUS, ON 26 JULY 2019

26 July 2019

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure & Minister of Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan,

Principal of Canberra Secondary School, Mr Ng Tiong Nam,

Director of Singapore Maritime Academy, Capt Mohd Salleh Bin Admad Sarwan,

Students, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 Thank you all for joining us to launch this MPA Maritime Bus. Minister, we are honoured to have you join us today.  

2.   Why this MPA Maritime Bus?  In MPA, we know that shipping is a critical piece to global trade.  Without shipping, more than 80% of the things we see around us will not reach us.  And Maritime Singapore plays a critical role in our economy.  So, we want to bring a piece of Maritime Singapore’s Past, Present and Future to you. 

3.   While 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore, do you know that Singapore has been a trading port since the 14th century? We are also the first in the region to have a container port in the 1970s! Today, we are a leading international maritime centre and one of the busiest ports in the world connected to more than 600 ports.

4.   For the next six months between 1 August 2019 - 31 January 2020, this bus will travel to 37 schools and seven community spaces including community centres, Jurong Regional Library and SAFRA clubs, around Singapore.

5.   Do you know why we chose to launch this here at Canberra Secondary School?  This area has a rich maritime history – Sembawang was formally home to the Singapore Naval Base, and of course, Sembawang Shipyard.  And we know that Canberra Secondary School is active in community service and engagement, which MPA values as well.

6.   Today, I want to take this opportunity to recognise those groups of people who have and will continue to contribute to our rich maritime heritage.  They are here with us today.

  1. Canberra Secondary School’s NCC Sea Unit –  With their passion for sea activities and training, we hope to see future maritime leaders in them.
  2. Future seafarers from Singapore Maritime Academy – they are learning and training hard to be our future seafarers so they can man our ships effectively out at sea in future.
  3. Past and existing seafarers - for the important role they play in the maritime industry. Let me introduce you my colleague Kong Yong Sheng who has spent ten years out at sea, working his way up from a cadet to a Chief Engineer onboard. Now, he continues his contribution in MPA as a Senior Marine Surveyor to ensure our seas are safe for navigation. 

10.  Feel free to speak to them and with each other, as I know the passion for the sea can be contagious. There is a world of exciting career opportunities, both onshore and offshore, for you.   With that, thank you for joining us today.