Session 8 Speech
Dr Teo Ho Pin
Mayor of North West District
Member of Parliament for Bukit Panjang
Chairman of Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council

Mr Soh Wai Wah

Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Polytechnic

Distinguished Guests

Parents and Graduands

Ladies and Gentlemen


It is indeed a great pleasure to be here, witnessing an important milestone in your lives today. My heartiest congratulations to the graduating classes of 2017!

Education doesn’t stop after you graduate from the Polytechnic. If we stopped learning, progress stops. Learning is lifelong!

Singapore has evolved from a rural town to a livable and sustainable city, with clean air for all, becoming a zero waste nation, with adequate, sustainable cum resilient water supply and enhancing social spaces for livable homes. As you embark on your new journey, there are opportunities out there for you to make the Built Environment in our little Red Dot a more livable and sustainable city.

Stockpile of buildings is growing at a steady rate for all building types. Public sector construction demand is projected to grow to between S$20 billion and S$24 billion this year, up from about S$15.8 billion in 2016, as reported by Building and Construction Authority. At the BCA-Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore seminar on Jan 6 2017, Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, also announced measures by the government to boost the sector.

With Smart buildings incorporating various new digital technologies, the internet of things, the push for greener buildings by Building Construction Authority, coupled with Ministry of Trade and Industry’s initiative in the development of Industry Transformation Map, designed to examine the future trends and needs to set out a suite of initiative to systematically raise productivity, develop skills, drive innovation and promote internationalization, you, our graduands, catalyst to this transformation, need to move into a new dimension.

As reported, the Ministry of Education said the number of university places will increase by a few hundred this year, in line with the Government’s plan to increase the cohort participation rate to 40% by 2020.

In a fast changing world, be it your choice to pursue a University Degree or to begin your career immediately after graduation, learning is lifelong.

In his address at Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do, if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

The road that lies ahead may not be easy. When confronted with the harsh adversities of life, resilience is key. Before you hit the road ahead of you, take a moment to reflect the experiences you had at Singapore Polytechnic and how it has equipped you with the necessary skills. Despite the many challenges, you have earned yourselves a place in this hall today. Continue to aspire and make positive changes to your industry and our Built Environment.

Once again, congratulations on reaching this significant milestone!