SUTD Class of 2020 Commencement - Speech by Mr Sam Goi

30 Oct 2021

尊敬的新加坡前总统陈庆炎博士 - SUTD名誉校长、
Guest of Honour, Dr Tony Tan – Former President of Singapore and SUTD Chancellor
陈庆珠教授 - 新加坡外交部巡回大使、
Professor Chan Heng Chee, Ambassador-at-Large
黄志达先生 - SUTD前董事会主席
Mr Philip Ng, former Chairman of SUTD Board of Trustees
张道昌教授 - SUTD校长、SUTD老师、学生们
Professor Chong Tow Chong, President SUTD, Faculty & Staff, Students,
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning!

Thank you all for taking time to be here today, particularly Former President, Dr Tony Tan for gracing this occasion as our Guest-of-Honour – thank you very much!
Today’s event is of special significance to me. I never thought that I would be conferred this Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters. My heartfelt gratitude to SUTD for this honour and trust.
After I graduated from secondary school, I worked for my father for 8 months before I struck out on my own. I never once dared to imagine that one day I would have an honorary doctorate degree.
As some of you may know my story, I wasn’t an exemplary student in school – I am not the studious type and was very playful.
I soon realised that in a diverse and constantly evolving real world, I have to keep on learning. I resolved never to give up, to be determined to succeed and never to allow any challenges to discourage my pursuit for excellence.
For all that I have achieved, I am deeply thankful to Singapore’s founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. If not for Singapore, I may not have achieved so much. Perhaps, I may have been a farmer.
I am deeply honoured to be conferred this honorary degree from such an esteemed institution of higher learning such as SUTD, who nurtures the very best talents in innovation. Thank you SUTD for your trust in me.
I must say that while this honorary doctorate is an immense encouragement to me, it also adds indirect pressure. It encourages me to keep on learning and to contribute even more to society. It compels me to achieve more for society.
I hope this great honour will inspire young entrepreneurs to do more for society and to make a difference to our country. This is an entrepreneur’s responsibility.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay a special tribute to my late parents for nurturing me. And to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong for the strong support that he has shown toward SUTD. I would also like to express appreciation to the former Chairman of SUTD Board of Trustees, Mr Philip Ng, for his selfless contributions to the University. I would also like to thank my wife and family for their unwavering support to me.
The 21st century is fraught with changes and challenges. I deeply believe that SUTD is strategically positioned to nurture excellent, talented individuals who will be able to transform Singapore and the world.

Please allow me to close in English. I know that some of you may not understand Mandarin and I apologise.

Today is a very important day for all graduating students. Soon you will go out into the world and contribute your talents to the good of society.

I wish you the very best.
Please allow me to wish everyone here the very best of health and a brighter tomorrow! Thank you.