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Top honours for public service

12 Aug 2013









(From top) Mr Nathan, Prof Wang and Mr Chew received this year’s top National Day Awards

Three prominent Singapore leaders in their respective fields, who are closely associated with NUS, received this year’s highest National Day Awards. Topping the list of 3,197 National Day Awards 2013 recipients, Mr S R Nathan, former President of Singapore and NUS Chancellor (1999-2011), was conferred The Order of Temasek (1st Class). Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman of NUS’ Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School) Governing Board and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Board of Trustees, and Mr Tony Chew, founding Chairman of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore Governing Board (2005-2012), received The Meritorious Service Medal.

Mr Nathan is recognised for his many important contributions as Singapore’s longest serving President. One key initiative was the establishment of the President’s Challenge in 2000 to encourage caring for the community and volunteerism. With more than 50 years of experience in the public service, Mr Nathan had also contributed significantly in many other capacities. He was Permanent Secretary of the Ministries of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, High Commissioner to Malaysia, and Ambassador of Singapore to the US.

As NUS Chancellor, Mr Nathan had extended strong support towards a wide range of the University’s education and research initiatives and their fund-raising efforts. For his distinguished service to the nation and NUS, he was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University in 2012.

Also an eminent alumnus of NUS, Prof Wang is a renowned historian and scholar on China and the Chinese. He holds an honorary doctorate conferred by the University of Cambridge and is a University Professor at NUS and an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. Besides helming LKY School’s Governing Board, Prof Wang is also Chairman of NUS’ East Asian Institute and Rector of Cinnamon College at the NUS University Town.

Prof Wang, together with Mr Tony Chew and Chairman of National Parks Board Mrs Christina Ong, were the three recipients of The Meritorious Service Medal 2013. They were recognised for their exceptional service marked by resource and devotion to duty.

Mr Chew, who had seen through the first phase of Duke-NUS’ development, passed the baton of chairmanship over to ex-banker Kai Nargolwala in January this year. An influential business leader, Mr Chew was instrumental to the School’s successful launch and initial start-up, as well as rapid growth into an internationally acclaimed centre for medical education and research that it is today. For his visionary leadership and extraordinary contributions to Duke-NUS and Singapore, Mr Tony Chew had also been honoured with the University’s top award, the NUS Outstanding Service Award, in 2011.

More than 270 NUS board, faculty and members received this year’s National Day Awards. Among them were Mr Goh Yew Lin, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Governing Board Chairman and Trustee of the NUS Board, who received The Public Service Star; Professor Ooi Beng Chin, Interactive and Digital Media Institute Director and School of Computing Professor and Professor Wong Poh Kam, Director of NUS Entrepreneurship Centre and NUS Business School Professor, both of whom received The Public Administration Medal (Silver); and Professor Saw Swee Hock, Trustee of the NUS Board and Professorial Fellow at ISEAS, who received The Public Service Medal.

To view the National Day Awards 2013 recipients from NUS, click here.


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