Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Law and Home Affairs
Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, MP for Nee Soon GRC
Mr Benjamin Tan, SCAL Treasurer and Managing Director of Ho Lee Construction Pte Ltd, and also this year’s Lu Ban Host
Ladies and gentlemen
1. A warm welcome to SCAL’s Lu Ban Dinner Celebration 2017! I would like to thank all of you for joining us tonight as we commemorate the birthday of Lu Ban, regarded by the Chinese as the founding father of builders. SCAL’s history may not go back that far, but this year we are celebrating our 80th Anniversary.
SCAL’s initiatives/achievements for 2017
2. Indeed, 2017 has been an eventful year for SCAL. While we reflect on the role of the association and the industry in nation building over the past 80 years, we also reflect on the many challenges construction firms are facing today.
3. This year, we focused our attention on helping members improve construction workplace safety, raise productivity, and working with government and stakeholders to draw up the Construction Industry Transformation Map, or ITM.
4. In other areas, we put up recommendations for Budget 2017 to help industry cope with business challenges, and for more equitable terms in public sector contracts and the Security of Payment Act.
5. Much work still needs to be done. In particular, the ITM is just the start of a journey to the future for the industry.
6. In preparing for this future, I announced at SCAL’s 80th Anniversary Gala Dinner, our plan to develop a Construction Hub to serve our members better. The Construction Hub will house all our training facilities and will provide an avenue to showcase new construction methods and productive technologies. To be built within three years, we also aim to bring together other trade associations in the built environment value chain for greater synergy and mutual benefit.
Corporate Social Responsibility
7. If there is one area which, despite challenging times the industry firmly believes in, it is giving back to society. Our annual activities on corporate social responsibility, or CSR, has consistently been well supported by our members These include the Lunar New Year Celebration for the elderly, our Blood Donation Drive, Charity Golf Tournament, the Clean-A-Home Programme, and collaborating with the Building Construction Authority, or BCA to help revamp the premises of the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, or SAVH.
8. At our 80th Anniversary, SCAL also launched a Study Grant and a Bursary for the Singapore Institute of Technology and National University of Singapore respectively, through donations totalling $600,000. The programmes will help provide financial assistance to disadvantaged Singaporean students enrolled in degree courses offered by the respective universities.
9. Tonight’s event is yet another testimony of this philanthropic spirit, drawing inspiration from the great Lu Ban. This year, a total of $40,000 has been raised for two community centres, and another $25,000 to students enrolled at four neighbourhood schools and the Salvation Army. I will leave the announcements of respective donors and recipients to our Lu Ban Host Mr Benjamin Tan, but meanwhile please join me to give them all a big round of applause.
10. Before I conclude, I would like to thank our guest-of-honour, Mr K Shanmugam and our special guest, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah for taking the time to grace this annual event. A big thank you to SCAL’s Lu Ban Committee Chairman and Council Member, Mr Quek Hong Peng for his leadership and dedication in the fund-raising efforts.
11. Special thanks also go to our Lu Ban Committees’ Towkays for sponsoring tonight’s entertainment and beverages. The Towkays are representing the following companies:
Hexacon Construction Pte Ltd
Kim Seng Heng Engineering Construction Pte Ltd
Kimly Construction Pte Ltd
Low Keng Huat (S) Ltd
Progressive Builders Pte Ltd
Quek & Quek Civil Engineering Pte Ltd
Straits Construction Singapore Pte Ltd
Tat Hin Builders Pte Ltd
Yongnam Engineering and Construction Pte Ltd
12. Last but not least, I would like to thank our 2017 Lu Ban Host, Mr Benjamin Tan, for his time and dedication to organise the event.
I wish everyone a pleasant and enjoyable evening and a prosperous year ahead.