SINGAPORE: A total of 4,323 people received National Day honours on Wednesday (Aug 9) in recognition of their significant contributions to the nation.
Recipients came from diverse backgrounds, including the civil service, uniformed personnel, education institutes and grassroots organisations.
Heading the list is the chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Eddie Teo, who received the Order of Nila Utama (First Class).
Mr Teo began his public service career in 1970 under the Ministry of Defence where he reported to the late President S R Nathan.
Paying tribute to the late Mr Nathan, Mr Teo said that the late president was his "greatest mentor". "He taught me the values, discipline and instincts required for public service," he said in a media statement.
Mr Teo also thanked fellow PSC members and other colleagues. "I would like to thank my fellow PSC members, who are all busy people with important jobs or big organisations to run, who nevertheless are willing to volunteer their time and energy to contribute to the public good," Mr Teo said. "I thank them for being willing to challenge my views and for disagreeing with me, in order that I can make better decisions."
The 70-year-old previously received the Distinguished Service Order in 2006, and has served in various public posts including that of Permanent Secretary for Defence from 1994 to 2000 and Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office from 1998 to 2005.
He spent 35 years in public service before retiring in 2005.
Another honours recipient is the senior director (Youth) of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Ng Chun Pin, who is also deputy chief executive of the National Youth Council. Mr Ng received the Public Administration Medal (Silver).
The 42-year-old father-of-three spearheaded the implementation of Youth Corps Singapore. This involved designing the national youth volunteerism initiative, establishing systems and processes and setting up the registration portal.
"Going forward, the youths would need to be more globally exposed to some of the regional issues - what's happening around the region. And how it will affect Singapore. And what can we do as standing together, to support one another," he said.
Mr Ng said he hoped initiatives can reach out more to those who fall through the cracks, including youths without the benefit of guidance and mentors.
The chairman of Compassvale Aspella Residents' Committee Gilbert Quek, received the Public Service Medal.
The 40-year-old father of three started volunteering at the grassroots level in 2011.
Within his community, he looks after some 8,000 residents.
"We have to meet people from all walks of life. And we have to understand their concerns. Because the demographics of this area is made up of families with very young children, most of them. So I share their aspirations and their challenges," Mr Quek said.
He added that the award spurs him to keep on guiding younger volunteers to give back to the community and to Singapore.
A full list of this year’s National Day Award recipients is available on the website of the Prime Minister's Office.