36th AGM TRC President's Speech
36th AGM TRC President's Speech
30 September 2007
Dr. R. Theyvendran, PBM
Thanks for the Support
First, let me thank all of you for your presence this evening. This demonstrates your physical and moral support for TRC. TRC has come a long way since Mr. G. Sarangapani and other community leaders started this organisation, surmounting a number of obstacles and overcoming a lot of challenges.
TRC, with its 32 affiliate organisations has always been a strong voice of the Tamil community in Singapore and it will continue to be so.
We have been able to raise awareness for the Tamil language in our community. We are doing all we can to make Singapore Tamils realise that our language is a powerful, unifying force of our community and that the economic and educational success of our people is vital for the success of the community and nation.
So, help TRC to help preserve the Tamil language and culture now and for ever. Please remember that if you don’t use your language, you lose it!
Changing With The Times
When our friend and community leader, Mr. G. Kandasamy revamped the organisation in 1982, his primary mission was to wipe out illiteracy and uplift the educational status of the Tamil-speaking people in Singapore.
He believed that with education, the Tamils would be able to do well economically and socially – and make a significant contribution towards Singapore’s development.
That belief has not changed until today. That is the main reason why in 1994, we formed the TRC Multi-purpose Co-operative - to encourage our members to be thrifty and prudent – and help our community become more self-reliant.
I have said this in the past. It is worth saying it again – the Tamils living in British Guyana, Mauritius, La Reunion and Caribbean have forgotten the Tamil language and now they find it challenging to maintain their identity as Tamils. Let us not make the same mistake.
In our pursuit for economic and personal success, without realizing, we tend to neglect our language and cultural values. We should stop this happening in our society.
Let me emphasise this again. Tamil language, to the Tamils is like our breath. The moment you stop breathing, you die. Truly, once we lose our language and culture, we will end up as floating wood on the river, directionless, totally dependent on the direction of the river’s current.
54 th Thamizhar Thirunaal
TRC, in conjunction with our affiliates organised the 54th Thamizhar Thirunaal Celebrations. First started by the late G. Sarangapani and his friends – this program brings together the Tamil- speaking community to appreciate our rich culture, language and the arts.
With other community organisations, we jointly celebrated Ponggal Vizha and recently, the grand National Day Dinner. We are now preparing for the 55 th Thamizhar Thirunaal.
TRC was also actively involved in this year’s Tamil Language Festival and will continue to partner with the Tamil Language Learning & Promotion Committee in promoting and ensuring the future of our language.
Our membership must continue to grow. We must become much more stronger. Our voice as a community must be heard loud and clear. TRC will continue to serve as the main platform to express the needs and concerns of the community.
We must keep on recruiting new members. You must do your part by encouraging others to join as well.
Our Bursary Awards
Together with other institutions, we offer scholarships and bursaries to deserving students. This is the 5th year we have continued awarding these annual Bursary Awards. Since 2002, during the last four years, we have given away awards to more than 500 deserving students, totaling more than $70,000.00.
Most Inspiring Tamil Teacher Award
This is the 4th consecutive year TRC is supporting the “ Most Inspiring Tamil Teacher award “
organized by the ‘ Tamil Murasu’, as one of the main sponsors. This project has the support of many Tamil Community organisations.
TRC Excellence Awards
TRC started these awards in the early 1990s to recognise the achievements of our Indian students who excelled in Tamil Language.
Towards The Future
As we have done in the past, TRC will continue to organise more social and community functions, educational activities, feedback sessions and support book launches to ensure both our language and culture continue to be lively and vibrant.
We have strong bonds with SINDA, TLC, Narpani Pearavai, SIET, Tamil Murasu and other likeminded organisations, committed to the advancement of the community.
Community Newsletter Continues
TRC continued with its quarterly publication of its newsletter ‘Peravai’. A total of 8 issues were published in 2005/2006. These publications served as an important link with TRC members, schools and the Tamil community.
Youth & Idealism
The Youth Committee is doing well. They have passion and should be encouraged. They have orgaanised a number of learning journeys to the National Library - to instill and encourage in our children the habit of life-long learning. They recently organized a Motivation Seminar on 18/8/2007, which attracted more than 700 Secondary students.
The Youth Committee also have on-going dialogue sessions with the National Youth Council, MCYS and the PA Youth Movement.
In particular, I would like to show our collective appreciation to 3 potential leaders from the Youth Committee. They have made significant contribution to TRC, by organising a number of events and activities. They are:
1. Ms Shoba
2. Ms Gandaruby
3. Ms Janagi
TRC Multi-purpose Co-Operative Society
Finally, I would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to the following four dynamic and energetic leaders of our community, who are doing yeoman’s service to our community, sacrificing a lot of their personal time and spending a lot of their effort and energy to address the concerns of our community.
Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister of Education & Second Minister for Finance;
Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts;
Dr Balaji Sadasivan, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts;
Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister of State for Trade & Industry.
In conclusion, I once again thank you for your support! I hope more potential leaders and goodhearted people will come forward to serve the needs of our community and move our community towards more self-reliance and self-dependent. I am confident that our community will continue to make constructive and significant contributions to our nation’s growth and prosperity.
Help Tamils, Help the community
Help yourself - and your children and grandchildren –
And then Tamil will automatically ‘Vaalum, Valarum!’
Have a great evening!”