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Opening Address by Mr Eddie Teo, Chairman, Public Service Commission, at the 2017 PSC Scholarships Award Ceremony on 12 July 2017
Three candidates have been awarded the 2017 Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship.
Introduction of PSC Scholarship (Engineering)
Five outstanding candidates were awarded the President's Scholarships on 23 August 2016 at the Istana.
OPENING ADDRESS BY CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, MR EDDIE TEO
AT THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION SCHOLARSHIPS AWARD CEREMONY ON 12 JULY 2017 AT GRAND COPTHORNE WATERFRONT HOTEL GRAND BALLROOM
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Teo Chee Hean, Minister in charge of the Civil Service, and Coordinating Minister for National Security,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good evening and welcome to the 2017 Public Service Commission Scholarships Award Ceremony. Congratulations to the 71 PSC scholarship holders this year, who were selected from a pool of over 2000 applicants.
My congratulations also extend to your family members, principals and teachers who have played a role in developing and supporting you. This evening’s ceremony is an occasion of great pride and joy for you and for them. Much of what we achieve in life is never due to only our own effort and we must all have the humility to realize this and recognize the nurturing care, guidance and support from others.
A Heart for Singapore and Singaporeans
You are here today not only because you recorded stellar academic performances or have high intellectual abilities. An academic high-achiever without integrity, a drive for excellence and a heart for service is a poor fit for the Public Service.
As PSC Scholarship recipients, you have committed to serving Singapore and Singaporeans through a Public Service career. The PSC believes that you have the values and qualities, such as compassion, integrity and empathy to contribute to Singapore’s progress and provide excellent service to the citizens through the different career tracks which you will embark on.
A Tapestry of Diverse Talents
Today we live in a complex world with many uncertainties. But for Singapore, being small is a certainty which we forget at our own peril. Being small means we cannot be complacent and depend on past success to propel us into the future. The Public Service cannot rely on successful past formulas to meet future challenges. As future public officers, you need to continuously ensure that the Public Service is future-ready to solve problems which you may not even be aware of today. Meeting such problems requires new, innovative solutions. Being innovative requires you to be brave enough to challenge old, conventional thinking, and risk failure and criticism. Facing an uncertain and complex future requires us to build a Public Service which has a diverse set of talent to generate a wide range of ideas to formulate robust policies.
Therefore, I am pleased that our scholarship holders this year come from quite different backgrounds.
We have Miss Jacinth Chia from Pioneer Junior College, who showed strong community involvement by conducting events like the Values-In-Action project and exercise classes for her school and the community. We also have with us Mr Soon Qing Rong from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He exhibited community-mindedness through his Final Year Project which explored a method to diagnose premature deliveries among women, which in turn allows an earlier and better management of the health impact of pre-term delivery on the infant.
It is encouraging to see excellent candidates from across 15 different schools with the desire to make a difference through a career in the Public Service. They will bring valuable insights to the Public Service and enrich the discussions within.
I encourage students from all schools who are interested in pursuing a career with the Public Service through a Government scholarship not to hesitate to take the first step of putting in an application. The PSC has no quota for scholarships awarded nor do we prefer students from certain schools. Rather, beyond academic excellence, the PSC takes into consideration whole-person qualities and awards the scholarships based on merit regardless of the candidate’s background.
I am also heartened that some of our scholarship holders will be taking the path less well-trodden to study in the non-traditional countries.
This year, 2 scholarship holders will be going to non-English speaking countries for their undergraduate studies. Miss Yuki Chong Yu Qi will be furthering her studies in China, at Peking University. We also have Mr Jasdeep Singh Hundal, who will be heading to France as part of his dual-degree programme at Sciences Po and UC Berkeley to read Social Sciences and History.
The rich and unique threads of experience that they will bring back from their time abroad will add colour and vibrancy to the Public Service tapestry.
Building up Engineering and Technological Capabilities for the Public Service
In December 2016, we launched the PSC Scholarship (Engineering). This year, we have a total of 17 recipients choosing to study a STEM subject. 8 scholarship holders will be doing so under the PSC Scholarship (Engineering). The favourable response from the applicants shows that the younger generation is eager to contribute to our goal of being a government at the forefront in using technology to improve the lives of our people.
Our new scholarship holders have significant roles to play in the next chapter of the Singapore story. Keep yourselves up-to-date with developments in our country, and if you are overseas, an important role you have is to make friends not only for yourselves but also for Singapore. Always watch and observe what you can bring back to Singapore to help improve the lives of your fellow citizens.
I am confident that you will fly Singapore’s flag high wherever you are, and I look forward to your future contributions to Singapore.
(L-R): COL Chan Ching Hao, DAC Julius Lim Wei-Yang
The Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship was set up in 1991 by the Tanjong Pagar Citizens’ Consultative Committee with funding from the public, to commemorate the contributions made by Mr Lee Kuan Yew to Singapore.
Three candidates have been awarded the scholarship this year to pursue their postgraduate studies:
Applicants for the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship must be Singapore citizens and have an outstanding track record of leadership and service within or beyond their profession. Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship holders can pursue postgraduate studies overseas or locally in various fields to develop their potential as leaders. The scholarship holders are expected to actively contribute towards the betterment of Singapore, Singaporeans and the community.
In partnership with the three engineering clusters in the Public Service, the PSC Scholarship (Engineering) will be introduced from the 2017 scholarships exercise. The scholarship aims to develop and groom individuals for leadership positions in the engineering and technology sectors.
Offered to pre-tertiary students or undergraduates (as mid-term scholarship) who are keen to pursue an engineering career in the Public Service, PSC Scholarship (Engineering) holders will be ‘tied’ to an engineering parent agency and cluster to allow them to deepen their engineering skills early in their career. Scholarship holders will enjoy comprehensive developmental programmes during their studies, opportunities to work with experts in the field, dedicated mentorship and of course, an exciting engineering career.
Interested applicants may submit their applications at PSC Gateway. Under the “Career and Course Preferences” section, please indicate “Public Administration” as your most preferred career choice, and the preferred course of study should correspondingly be an engineering or related discipline.
Five outstanding candidates were awarded the President's Scholarships on 23 August 2016 at the Istana. They were Mr Joshua Chin Zen Jie, Mr Sean Ong Zhi Han, Mr Ong Kah Yong, Timothy, Miss Ong Si Hui, Olivia and Miss Natasha Ann Lum Mei Seem.