SINGAPORE: Speaker of the House Halimah Yacob was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws by the National University of Singapore (NUS) at its main commencement ceremony on Thursday, (Jul 7), in recognition of her career and service in the government and public service.
These contributions include over three decades of service to the labour movement, where she championed the rights of low-wage workers, voiced support for flexible working arrangements and family care leave. Her advocacy for women's rights and the Malay community was also recognised.
Speaking to about 180 graduating students from the NUS School of Computing, who also received their degrees today, Mdm Halimah encouraged them to seek out their own direction in life, and not let anyone or anything define them, limit them or take away their choices.
She also called on the graduates to always remember to give back to society, even as they focus on their careers and make a mark in their chosen fields.
"Look for a cause, a passion and champion it. Also, remember that we are where we are today because we have the support of so many people along the way," Mdm Halimah said.
The Speaker of the House cited parents or family members who sacrificed for their education, a government that has provided opportunities to excel, and even the efforts of someone whom they might not even be aware of.
"Let's have the humility to accept that not everything that happened to us was because of how smart or how good we are, but because we had a lot of help," Mdm Halimah said.
Almost 10,400 NUS students will graduate this year in 23 ceremonies over the next eight days.