The Embassy of Singapore hosted their 58th National Day on the 11 August 2023 at BabaHouse in Pretoria.
H.E. Mr Zainal Arif Mantaha, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore together with Madam Jennifer Cheng welcomed guests warmly to the auspicious occasion.
On the 9th August 1965 Mr Lee Kuan Yew the Prime Minister of Singapore signed the Proclamation of Singapore declaring on behalf of the people and government that as from that day Singapore shall forever be a sovereign, democratic and independent nation founded upon principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of the people in a more just and equal society.
Guest of honour, Deputy minister of International relations and cooperation the honorable Candith Mashego-Dlamini , Dean of the Diplomatic Corp and honorable guests and distinguished guests from South Africa were welcomed and thanked for their attendance.
The Singapore story after independence is familiar to many . The journey that has been taken , the challenges overcome and achievements that have been made. In 1997 former President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela described the economic transformation in Singapore as a miracle.
First Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew one of the architects of contemporary Singapore had said this:
” a nation is great not by its size alone it is the will, the cohesion, the stamina , the discipline of its people and the quality of its leaders that ensure it an honorable place in history ”
Years later in 2018, third Prime Minister and current Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong had this to say about Singapore :
” Singapore is a nation by design , nothing we have today is natural or happened by itself, somebody thought about it, made it happen, not our economical growth ,not our international standing, not our multi racial harmony ,not even our Nationhood. Nothing was by chance ”
Since the humble beginnings of Singapore, going forward there will always be certain inescapable hard truths and fundamentals that will continue to test the metal as a nation.
Singapore aims to remain bottom lined, a global price taker who’s prosperity and progress is dependent on a ruled based international order when might is not right. Their continued relevance to an evolving global chain is also of paramount importance to the country’s survival.
Singapore aims to work with broad based, like minded countries in all regions of the world, including Africa to rebuild international trust , reinforce multi lateralism and build guard rails against fragmentation induced by contestation that would make us all the poorer and hamper ability to work together to protect the global comments and address profound challenges that can only be effectively addressed through more not less multilateralism. In this context Singapore recognizes the significant role of South Africa, particularly because of its strategic rate as key member of the African Union , its membership and chairship of Bric’s this year and it’s its membership and chairship of the G20 in 2025.
South Africa and Singapore will be commemorating 30 years of diplomatic relations on the 12 October 2023. Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong visited South Africa by invitation of Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa from the 14 to 16 May 2023. It was Prime minister Lee’s first visit to South Africa since coming into office in 2004. His two predescesors had also visited South Africa while in office or just after stepping down from office.
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation honorable Candith Mashego-Dlamini extended warmest greetings and heartfelt congratultions on behalf of the South African government to the people and government of Singapore. Remarking how Singapore emerges as a shining beacon of progress and prosperity captivating the world with its unique story of transformation.
Guests enjoyed performances by the Wits University Female vocale ensemble in commeration of Women’s Day while enjoying some of the Hawker culture for which Singapore was inscribed in 2020 on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
Happy birthday Singapore
By Marion Kate