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Channel News Asia - SM Goh urges Singapore Scout Association to attract new generation

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Channel News Asia - SM Goh urges Singapore Scout Association to attract new generation

Post  ChongHao on Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:11 pm

Title : SM Goh urges Singapore Scout Association to attract new generation
By : Hoe Yeen Nie, Channel NewsAsia
Date : 27 Feb 2010 2203 hrs (GMT + 8hrs)

SINGAPORE: Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has issued a challenge to the Singapore Scout Association to make scouting attractive to the new wired generation of Singaporeans.

The association was founded here 100 years ago.

At a celebration on Saturday evening, Mr Goh said the 11,000 scouts in Singapore was not a large number, compared to the 400,000 student population.

He has heard there is a gradual waning of interest in uniform groups, and an aversion to toughing it out under the sun.

However, he believed students can be persuaded if the Scout s update their activities.

He shared a story of how he once got lost for more than 24 hours during a hiking test for a First Class Badge at the belukar, or secondary forest at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

"There was not a sight or sound of civilisation. We could not cook for fear of lighting up the belukar. To make matters worse, it rained that night," said Mr Goh. "We knew that nobody knew that we were lost. There would be no search parties to rescue us. I thought of my mother. I failed my test. But far from being discouraged, within a month, I retook my hiking test. The hiking test taught me not to give up when faced with difficulties."
Mr Goh also said the scouting values of loyalty, responsibility and being prepared, are timeless.

He felt it was no coincidence that Singapore's two former Prime Ministers and the current Prime Minister, were all scouts.

"'Being Prepared' is a mindset that permeates throughout the Singapore Government," said Mr Goh. "That is why when the financial crisis struck, we had the reserves and resources to take bold measures, and were able to successfully avoid widespread unemployment.

"Our banking system was sound, and did not need the massive bank bailouts required in other countries. Now, as the Minister for Finance has detailed in his Budget Statement, we are preparing for the next phase of our economic development, shifting gear gradually to productivity-based growth."

The Senior Minister said in the same way, Singapore is now preparing for the next phase of economic development, shifting gears to productivity-based growth.

- CNA/yb


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