President confers top award on former NZ chief of defence force

THE FORMER Chief of Defence Force of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae, was conferred Singapore's highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang, by President S R Nathan at the Istana this afternoon.
 
The medal was awarded to Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae for his outstanding contributions to forging excellent defence ties between the NZDF and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), and enhancing the close friendship between New Zealand and Singapore.

Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae played an invaluable role in promoting greater bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two armed forces.

Under his leadership, interactions between the NZDF and the SAF expanded in breadth and depth. These interactions have greatly enhanced the professionalism, mutual understanding and personal friendships between the officers and men of the two armed forces.

He also provided unstinting support to the SAF’s training in New Zealand, and played a significant role in facilitating the SAF’s deployments to Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan, in partnership with the NZDF.
 
Guests at the investiture included Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Permanent Secretary for Defence Chiang Chie Foo, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Neo Kian Hong, as well as senior government officials and military officers from New Zealand and Singapore.
 
Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae, who is in Singapore from 26 to 28 May 2011, called on President Nathan at the Istana earlier in the afternoon. He also called on Dr Ng and LG Neo at the Ministry of Defence this morning.