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Three candidates have been awarded the 2023 Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship
The President has appointed Mr Warren Fernandez as a Member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) with effect from 1 June 2023, for a five-year term in the first instance.
Mr Fernandez, 57, is the Chief Executive Officer of Edelman’s Asia-Pacific region, a global communications firm. He has more than three decades of experience in the news, media and communications sector, having served in key appointments such as editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group in SPH Media and editor of The Straits Times. He was previously President of the World Editors Forum and Chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Mr Fernandez has also contributed to numerous public sector boards, including the National Heritage Board, National Parks Board, and the National Environment Agency, and is currently a board member of the National Arts Council and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Mr Fernandez is a graduate of Trinity College, Oxford University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
On the new appointment, Chairman of the PSC Mr Lee Tzu Yang said, “I warmly welcome Mr Fernandez to the Commission. His experience will complement the expertise of the PSC and support our efforts to identify and attract outstanding talents from a wide range of backgrounds to consider a public sector career.”
On his appointment, Mr Fernandez said, “Singapore is fortunate to have public institutions which are highly trusted and widely respected, both for their integrity and effectiveness. This was the result of relentless efforts by past and present generations of leaders and stewards, not least those at the Public Service Commission. It is a privilege to be able to contribute towards keeping these efforts going, and I look forward to doing so."
(L to R) Dr Sharmini Rathakrishnan and Ms Jean Tan En Qi
2023 LEE KUAN YEW SCHOLARSHIP AWARD CEREMONY
1. The Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship was set up in 1991 by the Tanjong Pagar Citizens’ Consultative Committee in commemoration of the significant contributions made by Singapore’s founding Prime Minister. It is funded
by donations from the public and awarded to exceptional individuals who demonstrate a strong sense of commitment to serve Singapore and her citizens.
2. Three outstanding candidates have been awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship this year to support their pursuit of postgraduate studies. The awardees are:
Ms Jean Tan
PhD at the Social Research Insitute
(with integrated research methods training)
University College London
Dr Sharmini Rathakrishnan
Master of Public Health
John Hopkins University
United States of America
Mr Pek Yipeng, Albert
Sloan Fellows Master of Business Adminstration
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship holders may choose to pursue their postgraduate studies in any country and field of study that best develops their potential as leaders. The scholarship holders are expected to
contribute actively to better Singapore and her community.
Chairman and Members of the Public Service Commission
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good evening. This event marks the first time in 3 years that we are able to host the President’s Scholarship Award Ceremony in person.
The President’s Scholarship recognises outstanding young leaders for their dedication towards public service. Recipients have exemplified outstanding leadership qualities, strength of character, excellence in both academic and non-academic pursuits, and demonstrated unwavering commitment towards serving Singapore and Singaporeans. This year, I am pleased to award the President’s Scholarship to four remarkable young men and women. They are: Mr Eugene Chua Weiheng, Officer Cadet Govindan Solai Valli, Mr Lau Ka Keong, Andrew; and Miss Ng Si Jie Elizabeth.
Eugene and Andrew will be pursuing their studies in the United States, with Eugene reading History at Harvard University and Andrew reading Economics and English at Yale University. Elizabeth will be reading International Social and Public Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom. Solai will be going to Leiden University in The Netherlands to study International Relations and Organisations, the first President’s scholar to do so.
Eugene is an accomplished orator and the Vice-Chairman of the Raffles Institution Gavel Club. As a volunteer with Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre, Eugene served as a tutor and mentor to primary school children from less privileged backgrounds. The time he spent with them will serve him well as a Teaching scholarship recipient. Eugene hopes to nurture our next generation and build a society where Singaporean youth from all walks of life can find his or her own pathway to success.
Solai followed the footsteps of her mother, volunteering for the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA). She served in various capacities, from a vaccine ambassador, to a 'door-knocker' where she visited underprivileged members of the Indian community to understand their needs and provide aid. She also mentored at-risk youths under the Football Club Guidance & Mentorship programme. Solai is an active sportswoman and was Captain of the ACJC softball team. She will be serving with the SAF upon graduation.
Andrew was the President of the History and Strategic Affairs Society in Raffles Institution, and represented the school in various debate competitions. He has been volunteering as a tutor with the Ulu Pandan Community Foundation, and with the Homeless Hearts of Singapore as a befriender. Through these experiences, Andrew learnt the importance of empathy in understanding the challenges faced by the less privileged in our society. Through a public service career, Andrew hopes to work on policies to enable Singaporeans from all socio-economic backgrounds to find success and lead a fulfilling life.
Elizabeth is a person of many interests. She was the President of the Choir at Nanyang Girls’ High School, and the Bicultural Studies Programme Ambassador at Hwa Chong Institution. As a student leader, she actively galvanised her peers to work on recycling initiatives with grassroot organisations. Elizabeth is a believer of paying kindness forward. Having benefited from the support of her teachers and friends, Elizabeth volunteered in various capacities at Fei Yue Community Services, Lion Befrienders, Assisi Hospice and Singapore Children’s Society. She reached out to Singaporeans from different walks of life, including seniors, patients, and children. She also has a keen interest in foreign affairs and will be joining the public service as a PSC (Foreign Service) scholarship recipient.
My heartfelt congratulations to all of you.
Today is a memorable occasion for you and your family. As a recipient of this prestigious scholarship, you are now tasked with an important responsibility as future Public Service leaders, to lead Singapore forward beyond COVID-19 and to build a better Singapore for all Singaporeans. I am also heartened to see that all of you have a desire in wanting to help fellow Singaporeans and encourage you to keep engaging Singaporeans from all walks of life.
Externally, the geopolitical world order is changing. The global economy and markets are facing fundamental shifts with disruptions in supply chains and rising inflation rates. Climate change remains a long-term challenge, as extreme and unusual weather patterns become the norm across many countries in recent times.
Domestically, our demographics are changing. Our society is maturing, and the needs of Singaporeans have become more diverse. Younger generations of Singaporeans have evolving and different social expectations and aspirations. Many want a greater say in shaping Singapore’s future. Governance has become more complex and will increasingly be so, with many new demands on the Public Service. This also means the Public Service needs to be more diverse in terms of the experiences, backgrounds, and strengths of its officers to respond to these new and varied demands.
To this end, I am pleased to hear that the Public Service Commission has evolved its selection tools for PSC scholarships to capture a broader range of talent in the Public Service. PSC has reached out to outstanding students from more schools and polytechnics to encourage them to apply for the PSC scholarships. PSC also encourages its scholarship holders to pursue diverse subjects, courses, work attachments and internships in different countries, especially within the region.
Over the long term, this will help to develop good public service leaders who are exposed to different networks, cultures, and ways of thinking. This will improve the strength and resilience of the public sector, in tandem with our efforts to be a more inclusive society. Amidst the challenges ahead, there are opportunities to create better outcomes for our people and take Singapore to the next level.
As recipients of the President’s Scholarship, you must gear yourselves up to serve and lead in this rapidly changing landscape. You have the responsibility to lead and galvanise different sectors of society to respond to the challenges that lie ahead of us. You will need to develop the skills to lead while making sure that differing views and concerns of our people are considered and heard. Eugene, Solai, Andrew, and Elizabeth, it is your duty to embody the values of the Public Service, uphold the trust that has been placed in you, and do your part to support Singapore’s continued success.
Finally, I would also like to congratulate your families, principals, teachers, and friends, for their roles in guiding and developing you. I am confident that you will do us proud. I wish you every success in your journey ahead and look forward to you serving the nation with commitment and passion.
Four outstanding candidates were awarded the President’s Scholarship on 11 August 2022 at the Istana. They were Mr Eugene Chua Weiheng, Officer Cadet G Solai Valli, Mr Lau Ka Keong, Andrew and Ms Ng Si Jie, Elizabeth.