WEDNESDAY, 25 MAY 2011 (Session 7)

Mr Tan Hang Cheong,
Principal of Singapore Polytechnic

Distinguished Guests

Parents and Graduands

Ladies and Gentlemen:


    hank you for inviting me to address you on this happy occasion. It is both a privilege and honor for me to be here on this significant day in your lives.

  1. My heartiest congratulations to all of you here who are graduating today. This day is the culmination of three years of hard work and marks major milestones in your lives. We are here to celebrate with you and your parents on your achievement.

  2. In 1994, 17 years ago, I was sitting over there like you thinking what’s next for me. Graduating is both an ending as well as beginning. The ending of your time as a student of Singapore Polytechnic, while the beginning of the next chapter of your life. So much of your life is ahead.

  3. I believe most of the Singaporean male graduands here will be enrolling to serve their national service. Back then in 1994, I was posted to Pulau Tekong for Basic Military Training and after that, served as a section leader with a combat infantry unit. And now, I have completed my 10 years reservist cycle without missing a single recall.

  4. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Make full use of your time in national service to train yourself to be a better person. You will be tested your role as a leader as well as teammate when going through the training as a soldier.

  5. After your formal education is done, the test of how much you have learned will be in the workplace. You will take on higher responsibilities in the position that you are employed. Remember responsibility has no room for excuses. I believe that if you are willing to work hard and learn fast, you will enjoy a successful and fulfilling career.

  6. If you ask me what I started with when I began my career. I can tell you, it’s my education, my dreams and my drive. I wish to share with you some simple pointers that have been driving me over the years.

Firstly, Have a Dream

  1. Of all the things that youth bring with it, dreams are the most important.

  2. Dreams often make a person. They control your personality, your work, even your destiny. Have one and realize it.

Secondly, fulfilled your potential

  1. Youth is not just the stage of passing from childhood to adulthood; so do not think of it as just station between stops. This time of your life will determine the quality and direction of your future. The journey will always be full of ups and downs.

  2. So I will advise you to take some time to understand your strength and weakness, and fulfill your potential to the fullest.

Thirdly be optimistic in life and don’t be afraid of failure

  1. A pessimistic person sees difficulty in every opportunity while an optimistic person sees opportunity in every difficulty. If there is only one percent chance of success in a project, see that one percent as the spark to light a fire.

  2. I have failed lots of time. Every time I failed, I would aim to start all over again. The glory is not in never failing, but rising each time you fall. Be optimistic and always look at the bring side of things.

Fourthly, be prepared to work hard and make the most of your time.

  1. The harder you work by the day, the more realistic your dreams are at night. I believe that one of the most valuable things in life is time.

  2. Young people easily forget the value of time. Being young means that you have a lot of time ahead. So you may think that there is nothing wrong with wasting a little time. That is not the case.

  3. Everybody has 24 hours in a day. The difference lies in how you utilize that 24 hours. If a person works or studies 3 times longer than another person in a single day, then he or she is 3 days ahead. Life is short, but you make it shorter by wasting it.

And last but certainly not least, take care of relationship

  1. Remember that not everything that counts in life can be counted. Life is not just about your career. It’s also about people around you. Success alone cannot bring happiness. Allow your family and friends to share your success. Give them back what you can, in terms of friendship and care.

  2. Giving back also means giving back to society. It is never too early to be actively involved in community work despite your busy schedule.

Course achievement

  1. The SP Business School has given you a head start. You have been given the opportunities in the last 3 years to be part of the school’s many activities and achievements in both the Business Admin as well as Banking and Financial Service courses.

  2. Among these, I have been told that our Diploma in BA marketing graduate (Joy Tan) has being awarded the prestigious PSC scholarship in 2010. Our BA students also won the overall championship in the Chartered Institute of Marketing Competition 2010.

  3. I also understand that there were 3 SP Business school teams in the finals of the National Management competition 2010, and was won by our Diploma in Banking and Financial services alumni team. They represented Singapore in the Asian Management Game 2010 and received the runners-up trophy from the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Donald Tsang.

  4. In closing, I am happy to offer my heartiest congratulations to all award winners for your sterling performance. Your loved ones must be very proud of your achievements.

  5. I believe we must also thank the lecturers for their excellent teaching, guidance and inspiration.

  6. To all the graduands here today, I congratulate you on the successful completion of your academic journey at Singapore Polytechnic. Finally, today is the time for you to thank your parents and loved ones who have supported you and made many sacrifices to see you through to this auspicious occasion.

  7. I wish all of you success and happiness as you continue your journey of life.

  8. Thank you.