The new “kid on the block” is here! Associate Prof Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Community Development and Sports officiated the launch ceremony for Young Sikh Association (Singapore) on 17 January 2004 at Marina Mandarin. More than 160 guests from the Sikh and non-Sikh communities attended this momentous occasion.

In his opening remarks, Mr Hernaikh Singh, President of YSA, explained the rationale, mission and objectives of the Association. He said that, while the Sikh community had been able to address the challenges it faced, there remained several issues which need to be addressed in the community, such as: the need for a mechanism for networking among young Sikh professionals; promoting greater interaction between young Sikh and non-Sikh professionals; nurturing entrepreneurship and an international mindset and; providing opportunities for young Sikhs to learn and upgrade themselves in the face of changes taking place around them.

Mr Hernaikh also called on all Sikh and non-Sikh institutions to lend their support to YSA, so that it could contribute to the Sikh community and the Singapore society. He said that, while the platforms or the means adopted by different Sikh institutions may be similar, the end goals or objectives differ.

Assoc Prof Yaacob commended YSA for being an open and all embracing organisation, one which appreciates the broader perspectives and opportunity to forge ties amongst youth across the various communities. He added that, moving forward, YSA could identify possible areas of collaboration with other youth organisations, particularly in community service and sports. He concluded by saying that he was certain that YSA would serve the Sikh community and Singapore well.

With its formalisation, YSA looks forward to working with different local and international Sikh and non-Sikh organisations. For, it is only through such broad collaboration and cooperation that YSA would be able to address the challenges faced by young Sikhs in this highly dynamic and rapidly changing global environment.

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