STEPS TAKEN BY MINISTRY TO CONTINUE PROGRAMME TO CELEBRATE COUPLES’ GOLDEN JUBILEE WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES IN MIDST OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

In 2017, I suggested in Parliament that the Government initiate a programme to celebrate couples’ Golden Jubilee wedding anniversaries to signal the importance of families as a building block of our society. My suggestion was accepted by the Government and implemented from 2018.

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was clear to me that the role of family in rallying family members together became all the more important. I therefore asked the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the programme could continue. I am glad to note from the Minister Masagos’ response that, indeed, steps have been taken to ensure that the programme continues with special commemorative packages being delivered to the couples.

My question and Minister Masagos’ response are set out below.

STEPS TAKEN BY MINISTRY TO CONTINUE PROGRAMME TO CELEBRATE COUPLES’ GOLDEN JUBILEE WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES IN MIDST OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Mr. Murali Pillai asked the Minister for Social and Family Development what steps has his Ministry taken to continue with the programme to celebrate couples’ Golden Jubilee wedding anniversaries in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Masagos Zulkifli: The Golden Jubilee Wedding Celebrations (GJWC) is an initiative to celebrate both Civil and Muslim marriages that last 50 years or more. It honours couples in Singapore who exemplify commitment and strong marriages, and provides the opportunity for them to celebrate a memorable milestone with their families. This initiative was suggested by Mr. Murali Pillai in 2017 to celebrate and reinforce family values, which led to the inaugural GJWC held at the Istana on 17 March 2018. The following GJWC was held on 13 April 2019 at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

While we were unable to hold a physical event for the GJWC in 2020 due to safe management measures for the pandemic, we continued to celebrate the Golden Jubilee anniversary of 152 couples who had signed up for the event. This included the delivery of special commemorative packages to the couples, containing a commemorative certificate from President Halimah Yacob, a congratulatory note from Minister Masagos Zulkifli, a medallion and a photo memento. We also featured their stories on local media platforms, and congratulatory Facebook messages were posted by President Halimah Yacob and MOS Sun Xueling.

This safe manner to celebrate with the Golden Jubilee couples was well-received by the couples who appreciated the arrangements. It also garnered positive responses with almost 2,500 likes along with 250 positive comments on the posts and videos published. Singaporean netizens congratulated the couples on the celebration of their marriages.

This year, we will continue to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Wedding Celebrations in a safe manner. We believe that celebrating Golden Jubilee marriages in the midst of COVID-19 will serve as an inspiration and a reminder to us all that marriages can and do emerge stronger from life’s storms and challenges.

Member of Parliament for Bukit Batok SMC, Advisor to Bukit Batok SMC GROs.