Er. Dr Lee Bee Wah, MP for Nee Soon GRC Mr Quek Hong Peng, SCAL Lu Ban Committee Chairman and Managing Director of Quek & Quek Civil Engineering Pte Ltd and this year’s Lu Ban Host Distinguished guests Fellow members Ladies and gentlemen
1. A warm welcome to SCAL-Lu Ban Dinner Celebration 2016! It is a great pleasure to join all of you to celebrate Lu Ban, the founding father of builders.
Overview of the year
2. Since the start of the year, the weakening economy has impeded growth in the construction sector with the decline in private sector construction activities. At the same time, construction firms are also grappling with rising costs, a shrinking workforce and foreign manpower curbs in the midst of a challenging environment.
3. We appreciate that the government has taken steps to help construction firms ride through this period by rolling out more public sector projects to cushion the impact of construction demand. These include, for example, the redevelopment of Jurong Lake District and Defu Industrial Estate, and the new Tengah Hub.
Increasing Construction Productivity
4. To sustain our businesses, we should also step up efforts to continuously upgrade the skills of our manpower and innovate to increase our productivity. We should follow the footsteps of one notable role model, Lu Ban, who was an outstanding skills craftsman and engineer who focused on innovation and the mastery of construction skillsets. In the same manner, we should embrace innovation and productivity within our organization.
5. This year, we launched our inaugural SCAL Productivity and Innovation Awards also known as PIA, as a ground-up approach to promote innovative ideas for the construction industry. I am glad the PIA has provided a platform for companies to step up productivity efforts at their workplaces. I would like to encourage companies to participate in the Awards next year.
Reaching out to the underprivileged
6. As a leading industry association, SCAL has been actively engaged in various Corporate Social Responsibility projects to give back to the society. One of our main projects was to raise more than $1.9 million for the new SCAL-NKF Dialysis Centre at Yishun Street 81 which was opened in July this year.
7. Similarly, the Lu Ban Committee is also an opportunity for SCAL members to raise funds for the less privileged. This year, I am pleased to share that a total of $55,000 has been raised by the Committee.
8. A total of $25,000 has been raised for the Nee Soon South CCC fund with contributions of $10,000 from Quek & Quek Civil Engineering Pte Ltd, $10,000 from Straits Construction Singapore Pte Ltd and $5,000 from Lian Soon Construction Pte Ltd.
9. To provide financial aid to students from lower income families, $5,000 has been disbursed to each of the following schools:
- Blangah Rise Primary School - Gan Eng Seng School
- Henderson Secondary School
- New Town Primary School and
- Queenstown Primary School
We are grateful to the following companies that have contributed towards the amounts:
- Ho Lee Construction Pte Ltd
- Kim Seng Heng Engineering Construction Pte Ltd
- Santarli Holdings Pte Ltd
- Straits Construction Singapore Ptd Ltd and
- Wee Hur Construction Pte Ltd
10. Lastly, a donation of $5,000 from Hup Soon Construction Co Pte Ltd was made to Lions Homes for the Elders, a Voluntary Welfare Organisation for the ageing community.
11. The SCAL Lu Ban Bursary Awards grants bursaries to needy students from our member companies. Last year, we revised the eligibility criteria to raise the total gross household income ceiling from $3,000 to $5,000 to provide financial assistance to more families. With that, we have distributed a total of $9,700 this year. In addition, four students were awarded cash incentives for performing well in their academic results. We are happy to see that the incentive has encouraged and challenged them to strive to achieve better results.
12. Please join me to thank all our sponsors and recipients! (Round of applause)
13. On this note, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Quek Hong Peng, SCAL Assistant Treasurer and Chairman of the SCAL Lu Ban Committee, for hosting tonight’s dinner and his dedication in the fund-raising efforts.
14. I would also like to acknowledge the following for sponsoring tonight’s entertainment and beverages:
- Hup Soon Construction Pte Ltd
- Lian Beng Construction (1988) Pte Ltd
- Sunhuan Construction Pte Ltd
- Wan Chung Construction (S) Pte Ltd
15. In closing, I would like to thank our guest-of-honour, Dr Lee Bee Wah for taking the time to grace this annual event. We are pleased to have you every year for this special occasion.
16. I wish everyone here a pleasant and enjoyable evening. Have a prosperous year ahead!