REMARKS BY H.E. MR CHUA THAI-KEONG, SINGAPORE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO SOUTH AFRICA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE MOU SIGNING CEREMONY BETWEEN THE CIVIL SERVICE COLLEGE OF SINGAPORE AND THE NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA, 23 APRIL 2021
29 Apr 2021
H.E. Ambassador Modise Casalis Mokitlane,
South Africa High Commissioner to Singapore
Ms Ong Toon Hui, Dean and CEO, CSC
Mr Busani Ngcaweni, Principal and Director-General, NSG
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is a great pleasure to witness the signing of this MOU between two highly regarded schools responsible for the training of public officials. As the world grows in complexity, so does the business of government. Common sense while necessary is no longer enough. Public officials have to master various arts and sciences to make things happen. The art of governing can be taught to a great extent. By curating this art, both CSC and NSG provide continuity and foster excellence in the public service. Alone, each can go faster. Together, both can go further. This is also the wisdom according to an ancient African proverb.
2. Singapore and South Africa are political, economic, transport and knowledge hubs in our respective regions. We are listening posts for regional developments. Our economies are closely intertwined with those of our neighbours. Our airports and seaports serve the region. Our knowledge can affect the countries around us. Imagine the multiplier effects when two such hubs are linked by a super-highway. Our strong bilateral political relations provide the superstructure and framework. Our growing trade, investment and tourism ties pave the way for the planes and ships to ply back and forth. This MOU will become part of the super-highway between us that can benefit not only both sides but also ASEAN and Africa.
3. This MOU is a good example of South-South cooperation based on mutual respect and self-reliance. This is important to the development of our countries and the dignity of our citizens. We are not looking for free lunches or free rides. Best practices in good governance can be shared but not imposed. What works in one country may not work in others given different history, geography and political economy. We have to guard against hubris. What is certain is that the more we share and exchange views, the better we understand each other, and the better placed we become in building global solidarity and community.
4. In closing, let me congratulate the CSC and NSG for signing this MOU. It is the start of an important journey. Like my counterpart in Singapore my Brother and High Commissioner Mokitlane, I have been advocating for this MOU to be signed sooner rather than later. I am delighted that this day has arrived and am honoured to play a small part in its signing. Thank you very much.
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