SINGAPORE - Five government scholarship recipients, including a missionaries' child who grew up in Papua New Guinea and a Youth Olympic Games triathlete, have been awarded the prestigious President's Scholarships this year, at a ceremony at the Istana on Friday evening.
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Here is the full speech by President Tony Tan:
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Mrs Teo
Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat
Chairman and Members of the Public Service Commission
Ladies and Gentlemen
Each year, the Public Service Commission awards scholarships to outstanding young men and women who want to serve Singapore and Singaporeans through a career in the Public Service. The most prestigious undergraduate scholarship awarded by the Commission is the President's Scholarship.
It is awarded to young Singaporeans who have the integrity and commitment to work for Singapore's continued success. To be awarded a President's Scholarship, one must demonstrate more than just excellence in academic and non-academic pursuits. One must also show a strong ethos for public service, impeccable character, remarkable leadership and dedication towards improving the lives of Singaporeans.
2013 President's Scholars This evening, the President's Scholarship is awarded to five exceptional young individuals who have distinguished themselves based on their leadership capabilities and calibre, and their passion to bring the nation forward.
i) Mr I Naishad Kai-ren;
ii) Miss Stephanie Siow Su Lyn;
iii) Mr Joshua Ebenezer Jesudason;
iv) Mr Yap Wei Hang Timothy; and
v) Mr Scott Ang Yiqiang
Naishad and Stephanie have also been awarded the Public Service Commission Overseas Merit Scholarship. Joshua and Timothy have been concurrently awarded the Singapore Police Force Overseas Scholarship, and Scott, the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship.
To the five of you, I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations.
Building a Shared Future for Singapore's Continued Success
As we celebrate tonight the achievements of our President's Scholarship recipients, let us also remember where we started out. Singapore was built through the hard work of our forefathers, who themselves hailed from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Today, our diversity remains key in securing our continued success.
Being a small, open economy, we will constantly be exposed to external threats and challenges. In addition, as our society matures, we will face new issues and opportunities.
To tackle the challenges and to grasp the opportunities, we will need a Singapore that is not only able and nimble, but one which can leverage on the diverse strengths of its people to move forward. For this reason, we need a continuous stream of capable, dedicated leaders at all levels of society.
These leaders need to have the ability to harness the varied strengths of Singaporeans from all walks of life.
As recipients of the President's Scholarship, you bear a heavy responsibility. Your peers and fellow Singaporeans will look to you for such leadership to bring Singapore forward. Beyond excellence in your academics and careers, each of you will have to work hard to nurture both unity and diversity in our society.
You will need to build a strong sense of national identity, while appreciating differences across cultures and countries. The policies you create and implement must be done not in an ivory tower, but through strong connections and engagement with the community.
By tapping on the collective wisdom and experiences of our different communities, we can build a better shared future for ourselves, our families and our fellow Singaporeans.
I would like to applaud the efforts of the families, principals, teachers and friends of our new President's Scholarship recipients. All of you have played an integral role in moulding their character, values and sense of service. Their accomplishments today bear testimony to the remarkable work you have done.
My congratulations, once again, to Naishad, Stephanie, Joshua, Timothy and Scott for being awarded the President's Scholarship.
Tonight marks a new chapter in your lives. But, I am certain that all of you will live up to indeed, if not exceed, the high hopes we have placed on you to do Singapore proud.
I wish you success in your journey ahead and I look forward to you serving with distinction when you begin your careers in the Public Service.