Speech by President S R Nathan at the Singapore Garden Festival Awards Gala Dinner
15 Dec 2006
Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development,
Prof Leo Tan, Chairman of the National Parks Board,
Mrs Betty Chen, President of the Singapore Women Association,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me much pleasure to be present here tonight at the Singapore Garden Festival Awards Ceremony commemorating the first International Garden and Flower Show in Singapore.I am indeed glad to learn of the wide support that this inaugural show has received from both local enthusiasts as well as others from abroad.I am confident that this first Garden and Flower Show in the world which gathers top international garden talents under one roof, to show their creative displays alongside our local talents, will also delight and generate interest in greenery and gardening amongst our people and catalyse the development of our local horticulture industry.To those who have come from abroad, I would like to express a personal welcome and express the hope that besides enjoying this Festival they will also find time to explore the rest of Singapore which we are proud to call our "Garden City".
Since our independence in 1965, we have been unstinting in our efforts to green Singapore.We have carefully developed parks and gardens throughout the country, and enhanced our living environment with well-nurtured trees and shrubs.The beautiful landscapes that permeate Singapore today are a testimony of the commitment to create and nurture a green and clean living environment by the Government and our people.
As we open the Singapore Garden Festival, we are also marking a new phase in our development as a Garden City. Going forward, we will transform Singapore into a ""City in a Garden"", where the whole country is one beautiful tropical garden within which our urban infrastructure is nestled. Parks and gardens will be inter-linked by connectors so that a green mantle permeates the whole island.We will intensify our streetscape greenery and promote skyrise greenery.We will enhance greenery along the waterbodies and turn them into attractive recreational destinations.In essence, greenery will be a distinctive feature of the attractive environment we are creating for our people to live, work and play in.
The Singapore Garden Festival will celebrate gardening and horticulture excellence.The Festival is also Singapore's contribution to the universe of gardening and flower shows.This is the first show in the world to gather international award-winning designers from 14 countries, to showcase the world's top talents in garden and floral design.
To evolve Singapore into a "City in a Garden", we need to inculcate in our people an appreciation for greenery, and mobilise wider public support and participation.NParks launched the Community-in-Bloom movement in 2005 to introduce gardening as a healthy recreational activity amongst the community. The programme has been well received.
The Singapore Garden Festival aims to further excite the interest in greenery amongst our people, nurture a gardening culture amongst our community, and catalyze the development of our local horticulture industry.I am glad to note that more than 40 local landscape and horticulture companies, and societies and associations related to nature and conservation are participating in this festival. NParks has also invited winners of the Community Gardening Awards to display their winning entries at the Festival.I congratulate them on their works.
I am glad to note the partnership of the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority, Singapore Tourism Board, Orchid Society of Southeast Asia, and many other organisations and individuals who have worked with NParks to make this Festival possible.I would also like to commend the Chinese Women's Association for organising this Awards Gala to raise funds for the Henderson Senior Citizens? Home.My thanks also go to the sponsors for this Gala event as well as the Festival.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone here a pleasant experience at this inaugural Singapore Garden Festival.Thank you.