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Keppel Corporation is a supporter of corporate giving in the arts and sports

Speech by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community Youth, at the Keppel Offshore & Marine Naming Ceremony of Jackup Rig, ARABDRILL 60
27 December 2013

Mr Mohamed Yusof Rafie, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Arabian Drilling Company,

Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Keppel Corporation,

Mr Choo Chiau Beng, CEO of Keppel Corporation,

Mr Tong Chong Heong, CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen.

1. I am very happy to be here at this occasion to mark the naming of the new jackup rig for Keppel and Arabian Drilling Company (ADC).

2. It has been some time since I came to an environment like this. The last time would be in my last job at the Energy Market Authority where the focus was on building Singapore’s largest LNG terminal which incidentally will be officially opened next month. It is good to be in an environment like this and to see the completion of a project and the pride that all of you have. Many of you have been spending a lot of time and effort making this project possible and successful. I can certainly identify with the pride and joy that you now have seeing the completion of your project.

3. Keppel FELS does many rigs, in its track record and its history, but this one is special because first, it is the last rig of 2013; second, as you have heard many say already, it sets a new record not just for Keppel but any company in the world and the 21st rig delivered in a milestone year; and third, it commemorates the 45th anniversary of Keppel Corporation. So there are many ways to celebrate this special occasion and I want to congratulate Keppel and ADC – I am honoured to be able to share this special occasion with you.

4. The development of the offshore and marine industry in Singapore in many was mirrors Singapore’s economic progress. We started out with basic ship repairs in the 60s and today, we are a global leader in the offshore and marine industry, specialising in rig building and ship repairs. We are small country with no oil and gas resources yet we are the world's largest manufacturer of jack-up rigs with a 70% market share and also a 70% global market share for the conversion of Floating Production Storage Offloading (or FPSO) units and it is quite an incredible achievement.

5. These are achievements that all of us as Singaporeans can take pride in and we can be even prouder that a home-grown company, Keppel, is leading the growth of this sector.

6. I believe Keppel’s success has also enabled it to actively give back to the community as well so it is not only a corporate leader in the offshore and marine sector, but it is also a leader in promoting a culture of giving in Singapore through volunteerism and contributions to social and cultural activities. For example, Keppel launched its Keppel Care Foundation to reach out to the needy and under-privileged to promote education and encourage eco-friendly mindsets and initiatives. Through the foundation, Keppel has been able to give on a sustained basis, which will greatly aid its beneficiaries.

7. Beyond corporate philanthropy, companies can also do more to promote skills-based volunteering – in other words, encourage your employees to make use of their skills to give back to society. It’s not just about contributing money but how your employees can be involved in contributing to society and this can often be more impactful for community organisations you are helping, and also potentially more meaningful for employees because you find that you are making use of your own skills to contribute to the community. So I am very glad that as part of its 45th anniversary celebrations this year, Keppel has designated August as its Community Month and pledged 5,000 volunteer hours by its employees. To date, I am happy to say that the Keppel Group has already far surpassed this target and achieved over 8,000 hours through diverse activities to reach out to the less fortunate. I would like to commend everyone in Keppel Group for promoting a culture of corporate giving in Singapore, and for being presented with the President's Award for Philanthropy (Corporate) earlier this year.

8. Corporate giving covers all sectors – but I would like to give a plug for the two areas under my ministry’s portfolio and that is arts and sports. I am glad that Keppel is a strong supporter in both these areas. In sports, Keppel Offshore & Marine has a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), which will help to advance the efforts of STTA to nurture table tennis talents in Singapore. In the arts, Keppel has recently pledged $12 million to establish the Keppel Centre for Art Education at the new National Art Gallery to be ready in 2015. This is in fact one of the largest ever single corporate donation to the arts. We are very grateful for the support that Keppel has given to the arts and sports.

9. I would say that the arts and sports scene in Singapore is becoming more vibrant and there’s a lot that all of us can look forward to in the coming years. We have the Sports Hub which will also be ready next year, and there’s an exciting calendar of events not just in sports but also lifestyle and entertainment events like mega concerts coming up from next year onwards. We will be hosting the next edition of the SEA Games in June 2015 after the recently concluded SEA Games in Myanmar. We are also celebrating our 50th anniversary of independence in 2015, just like ADC which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The Government hopes to work with corporate partners to celebrate our 50th anniversary together because there is much to give thanks for and to celebrate together. It is also timely to remember the less fortunate among us – to make sure that we include them in our celebration, and look for ways to build a more caring and inclusive society. So, I hope that as a leading organisation in corporate giving, Keppel will continue to participate actively in our upcoming events, including in our 50th anniversary celebrations, and to share your experiences with your business partners, so that together we can continue to grow and nurture a culture of giving in Singapore.

10. Finally, as Keppel wraps up its 45th anniversary celebrations this year, I would like to once again commend and thank everyone in the Keppel Group for making corporate giving an integral part of your work. I am heartened that in Keppel, you not only work hard to deliver quality rigs on time and on budget, but also spend time to engage the community and give back to society. Your effort to be active in both volunteerism and philanthropy bodes well for the future of corporate giving in Singapore. Finally, I would like to congratulate Keppel and the Arabian Drilling Company once again on the completion of ARABDRILL 60, and I wish you every success in its operations.

Last Updated: 11 March 2014

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