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NUS honours Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong with Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award

22 March 2018 | EducationGeneral News
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Six other eminent alumni recognised for their contributions towards nation-building, growth of NUS and promotion of the arts and social sciences

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) tonight celebrated the remarkable achievements of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and six other exceptional alumni at the FASS STARS Awards 2018 (FASS Service, Teaching, Alumni, Research, Long Service Awards 2018).

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Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (right) was conferred the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award (Lifetime Achievement) by NUS Chairman Mr Hsieh Fu Hua (left) in recognition of his exceptional contributions towards the development of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, NUS, Singapore and his support of education and research in the social sciences.

Established in 2015, the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award is conferred on individuals in recognition of their distinguished scholarship and outstanding service to the Faculty, the University and Singapore. This year’s award categories include the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award (Lifetime Achievement) and Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award.

NUS Chairman Mr Hsieh Fu Hua conferred the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award (Lifetime Achievement) on ESM Goh in recognition of his exceptional contributions towards the development of the Faculty, the University, Singapore and his support of education and research in the social sciences.

The Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award was conferred on six recipients, namely: 

  • Dr Lee Soo Ann, Senior Fellow, Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS
  • Mr Arthur Yap Hock Seng, Former Chairman, NUS Alumni Chapter in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Ms Pang Cheng Lian, Director, Temasek Foundation Cares and Mee Toh Foundation
  • Dr Lee Tzu Pheng, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed poet
  • Mr Edward Lee Kwong Foo, Chairman and Lead Independent Director, Indofood Agri Resources Ltd
  • Mr Viswa Sadasivan, CEO, Strategic Moves

These outstanding award recipients have achieved excellence in various fields locally and internationally, and their work has also contributed to the betterment and promotion of the arts and social sciences.

Professor Robbie Goh, Dean of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said, “We are very proud of our illustrious alumni who have excelled in their respective fields and contributed to society in remarkable ways. We are also deeply honoured to confer the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award (Lifetime Achievement) on ESM Goh Chok Tong for his exemplary service to Singapore and to the global community. The leadership, dedication and achievements of this year’s award recipients will inspire the Faculty and student community to scale greater heights in social engagement and transformation.” 

Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award (Lifetime Achievement) 
- Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong (Class of 1964)

ESM Goh Chok Tong graduated with First Class Honours in Economics from the University of Singapore, the predecessor institution of NUS, in 1964. After graduation, he joined the Administrative Service of the Singapore Government as an officer in the Economic Planning Unit, and he has since dedicated more than 50 years of distinguished service to Singapore. 

In 1969, he joined the national shipping line Neptune Orient Lines and was its Managing Director from 1973 to 1977. His political career began when he was elected into Parliament in 1976. Between 1979 and 1990, ESM Goh served in many capacities: Senior Minister of State for Finance, Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Health, Minister for Defence, and Deputy Prime Minister. In these positions, he excelled in his work and initiated many policies that sought to improve Singapore’s economy, defence capabilities and the quality of life for Singaporeans.

ESM Goh succeeded Mr Lee Kuan Yew as Singapore’s second Prime Minister on 28 November 1990. During his 14-year tenure as Prime Minister, ESM Goh set in motion social policies aimed at addressing income inequality and strengthening the social fabric of the nation. He steered the nation through major economic, security and health crises, including the SARS pandemic, Jemaah Islamiyah threat, and Asian Financial Crisis. ESM Goh also actively broadened and deepened the Republic’s diplomatic ties. In recognition of his contribution to bilateral ties, he was conferred the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant (Thailand) in 1997, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 2004, the Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia in 2005, and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in 2011. 

ESM Goh stepped down as Prime Minister in August 2004 to renew the leadership of the country. He remained active in public service, as Senior Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 12 August 2004 to 20 May 2011, and later as ESM and Senior Adviser to the MAS since 21 May 2011. 

After his retirement from the Cabinet in 2011, ESM Goh’s long-standing interest in community wellbeing and services continues, together with his support for education and research in the social sciences. He advocates the importance of bridging policy-making and practical actions in society, and uses his constituency, Marine Parade, as a test-bed for implementing social measures to advance the interests of the elderly and the vulnerable, needy residents. Thus started his association with the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Social Service Research Centre, which he first mooted and continued to serve as an advisor. In 2017, he was appointed the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS. For his leadership of, and exemplary public service to, Singapore, ESM Goh was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from NUS in 2015.

Please refer to the Annex for information on the recipients of the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award.

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