President Halimah Yacob has urged all Singaporeans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in her Chinese New Year message on Wednesday (10 Feb).
In a two-minute video posted on her Facebook page, Madam Halimah said that Singapore is entering the Year of the Ox with a “greater sense of hope and optimism” because the country now has the vaccine to combat the coronavirus.
“However, having the vaccine is only one part of the equation. What is of equal importance is to make sure that everyone is vaccinated,” she said.
“The response has been encouraging but we can do even better. So please get vaccinated to protect yourselves and your loved ones.”
Madam Halimah also stressed that it is imperative that Singaporeans continue to practise safe distancing, as it will take some time to develop immunity.
“The faster we resolve this health crisis, the quicker we will recover economically. Everyone has a part to play,” she asserted.
Madam Halimah went on to say that she understands how difficult it is to celebrate Chinese New Year with the many restrictions in place this year due to COVID-19, though she hopes Singaporeans will “still be able to spend time meaningfully” with their loved ones.
“One Chinese tradition which I really like is the reunion dinner, usually held on the eve of the New Year,” she noted.
“It is an excellent opportunity to forgive, mend ties and celebrate as a family. It reminds us of the truly important things in life, not the daily hassles of work and the mundane tasks of taking care of various needs, but that we all are part of something wonderful called the family.”
At the end of the video, Madam Halimah wished all Chinese Singaporeans a “very happy, peaceful, and prosperous” Chinese New Year.