Celebrated for their dedication to Singapore

Over 200 members of the NUS community received the National Day Awards 2023

Madam Kay Kuok Oon Kwong, Chair of the Yale-NUS College Governing Board and Former Chairman of the National Healthcare Group, was conferred the Distinguished Service Order at this year’s National Day Awards.

One of four recipients of this year’s top accolade, Madam Kuok was among the more than 200 members of the NUS community honoured at the annual awards, which recognise individuals for their merit and service to Singapore.

The Distinguished Service Order is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated distinguished conduct.

Madam Kuok was recognised for her steadfast leadership of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) from 2009 to 2021, steering it through major milestones, including its integration with the Alexandra Health System. She was also credited for her critical role in establishing the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and for her stewardship of the NHG in its COVID-19 responses during the pandemic.

As Founding Chair of the Yale-NUS College Governing Board, Madam Kuok provided strategic direction and guidance in various aspects, from curriculum development and faculty hiring to finances and infrastructure. She served on the NUS Board of Trustees for 12 years from 2008 to 2020, providing leadership and vision in charting the University’s strategic goals in education and research, in addition to discharging the Board’s fiduciary duties. For her immense contributions to the University and society, she was presented with the Outstanding Service Award at the NUS University Awards 2021.  

Emeritus Professor Lee Eng Hin received the Public Service Star for his role as Chairman of the Bioethics Advisory Committee, which provides the government with recommendations on the regulation of human biomedical research. His appointments at NUS include Emeritus Professor at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine), where he also serves as Senior Advisor to the School’s Division of Graduate Medical Studies. He was the former Dean of NUS Medicine and previously served as Head of the Department of Orthopaedics.

Also being recognised with the Public Service Star was Dr Toh Mun Heng, Vice President of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) Central Committee, and Honorary Fellow of the Department of Strategy and Policy at NUS Business School. The award is given to individuals who have rendered valuable public service or distinguished themselves in various fields. 

NUS University Professor Ho Teck Hua, presently President and Distinguished University Professor of the Nanyang Technological University, was honoured with the Public Administration Medal (Gold) award. Prof Ho served as NUS’ Senior Deputy President and Provost from 2018 to 2023 and was Deputy President (Research and Technology) from 2015 to 2018. As Provost, he oversaw numerous initiatives aimed at promoting greater interdisciplinarity, nurturing innovative teaching and learning methods, and enhancing lifelong education. He was instrumental in attracting and developing high-quality talent at NUS through schemes such as the Presidential Young Professorship, and oversaw the launch of the College of Humanities and Sciences, College of Design and Engineering as well as NUS College, among other accomplishments. He was the Former Deputy Chairman of the Duke-NUS Governing Board from 2018 to 2023 and currently serves as the founding Executive Chairman of AI Singapore and President of the Academy of Engineering, Singapore.  

Two other individuals were also recognised with the Public Administration Medal (Gold) award. They were Mr Kenneth Er Boon Hwee, who received the award in his capacity as Deputy Secretary (Planning) at the Ministry of National Development and Former Chief Executive Officer of the National Parks Board; and Mr Kok Ping Soon, Former Chief Executive of the Government Technology Agency. Mr Er is Member of the Governing Board of the Tropical Marine Science Institute at NUS while Mr Kok is Member of the Management Board of NUS-ISS. 

Other members of the NUS community who received awards include:  

Mr Philip Lim Feng, Public Administration Medal (Silver) (Bar)  

• Prof Terrance Chua Siang Jin, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Assoc Prof Terence Ho Wai Luen, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Mr Khoong Chan Meng, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Prof Liu Bin, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Assoc Prof Thomas Loh Kwok Seng, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Assoc Prof Peter Pang Yu-Hin, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Clin Assoc Prof Poon Choy Yoke, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Prof Sun Yeneng, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  
• Prof Teo Chung Piaw, Public Administration Medal (Silver)  

• Prof Richard Liew Jat Yuen, Public Administration Medal (Bronze)  
• Prof Vathsala Anantharaman, Public Administration Medal (Bronze)  
• Prof Jochen Wirtz, Public Administration Medal (Bronze)  

View the full list here and read the story on last year’s recipients here.