News @ AsiaOne

PM donates further $350,000 from salary to three new awards

Awards will encourage Singaporeans to pursue careers in social service, and recognise young arts talent. - AsiaOne

Thu, Apr 05, 2012

Above: PM Lee at a dialogue session held in National University of Singapore in 2011

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said today that he would be donating $350,000 to establish three new awards to promote community bonding, encourage Singaporeans to pursue careers in social service, and recognise young arts talent.

This is on top of the donations he has made in the past five years since 2007, following the announcement in ministerial salary adjustments. He had then announced that he would donate to charity the increase in his salary for a period of five years.

The beneficiaries have included an education endowment fund for students who have persevered and done well, academically and non-academically, community hospitals and nursing homes, voluntary welfare organisations, and sports and cultural bodies.

Of the $350,000, $200,000 will be used to establish a Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) under the People’s Association (PA).

This will sponsor community projects initiated by the PA grassroots organisations to strengthen bonds among residents.

He said: "I hope the CIF will spur more Singaporeans to come forward to help other Singaporeans, in big ways or small, so as a build a more inclusive and united community."

The PA said the CIF will provide funding for ground-up projects that support it's mission of widening outreach and deepening engagement with residents across all backgrounds to build greater social capital.

A panel of grassroots leaders will be formed to consider and award funding to promising and worthwhile community projects put up by respective constituencies.

Another $100,000 will go towards a new Prime Minister's Social Service Award.

This is to encourage more Singaporeans to choose careers in social service. The award will complement the current scholarships awarded by the National Council of Social Service, signalling the importance of social service professionals in Singapore.

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports said that two awards, each worth $10,000, will be given each year to top scholars who have been selected to receive the Social Service Scholarship for a start.

They will go towards defraying the expenses incurred for research and project work that scholars undertake during the course of study, so that recipients can come up with more extensive and robust pieces of research and project work.

This, in turn, would boost the capability of these scholars, putting them in a good position to contribute to the sector when they ultimately join the workforce.

MCYS said recipients should display exemplary passion and drive to tackle social problems and improve the lives of the disadvantaged besides having outstanding academic achievements.

Interested parties can visit for more details. Applications open in February every year.

Finally, a further $50,000 will be used to establish a Prime Minister's Valedictorian Award for the top student in each graduating cohort from the School of The Arts (SOTA).

The award will be given to the most outstanding student in each graduating cohort who has achieved all-round excellence in their 6 years at SOTA.

To be handed out from 2013, each awardee will receive a $1,500 cash award, a certificate and a plaque.

SOTA said awardees should demonstrate excellent academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities and contributions to community service.

PM Lee said: "We like to think of ourselves as maturing society. To be such a society, we must strike a good balance between our material and non-material goals. Our citizens must be ready to step forward to help others and serve the community, whether through voluntarism, philanthropy or social enterprises."

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