SINGAPORE — Having taught Singapore’s founding father how to meditate, presidential hopeful Ng Kok Song now believes that youths can benefit from practising meditation, which he said can give them “inner peace” and address mental health issues, along the way enabling the country’s future success.
The former GIC investment chief was speaking to the media after his visit to the Central Sikh Gurdwara at Towner Road on Sunday (July 23) morning – his first public appearance since he announced his presidential bid on Wednesday.
A devout Catholic, the 75-year-old made headlines previously for teaching Christian meditation to the late Lee Kuan Yew, even though Singapore’s founding prime minister was not a Christian.
“As you all know, I practise meditation. And I think meditation is one of those practices which can help people come to inner peace, inner harmony. It will help people of all generations, but particularly the young,” Mr Ng said.
“So that’s one of the things that I hope to do more when I’m President. To raise the consciousness of mental health, and to encourage as many people as possible to come together.”
Mr Ng said that tackling mental health challenges will be crucial to Singapore’s future success, which lies in the hands of today’s youth.
“It will raise their productivity because they will not be so stressed. And secondly, they will be able to approach their work with attention,” he said.
“So, I’ve been thinking about this, and I feel that this is one of those areas where, as President, I can make a special contribution.”
He described mental health as an issue he is “very passionate” about.
“Mental health challenges people of different ages – the young, the youth, even the elderly. And so, I think it’s very important for us to put more resources into addressing the challenge of mental health in Singapore.”
Mr Ng told the media he is particularly keen on reaching out to the country’s youth as they are “the future of Singapore”.
“It’s very important for our young people to be politically conscious, to be aware of the issu...