They represent the best of Singaporeans, young, old, and across ethnic groups and professions. Individually, their acts warm the heart. Collectively, their deeds inspire a nation. In a year rocked by terrorism, nationalist movements and racism, as well as disruptions all round, the 12 nominees for The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year are a source of hope. This is the hope that the power of good, while challenged around the globe, can yet prevail.
From three doctors who were vigilant enough to first notice a possible Zika outbreak, to a social worker who made fighting family violence her mission, and a doctor who became a mental health advocate, they all went above and beyond the call of duty to help those in need. Then there were those who never knew that they had it in them to help, but did so anyway - like 12-year-old Ashvin Gunasegaran, who rushed to the aid of a pregnant woman in a car accident and became the youngest recipient of the Singapore Civil Defence Force's Public Spiritedness award. Technician John Shu never thought that a chat with a woman at a bus stop could lead him to play a key role in turning her life around. Similarly, ex-con Jabez Tan was the unlikely saint behind a social enterprise set up to help other former offenders.
Then they are those who made the world sit up and take notice - like singer Nathan Hartono for reaching such high notes, the Schoolings for realising their Olympic dream, and Paralympians Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh, who not only proved that they are among the best in the world, but did so while pursuing a bigger goal - championing disability sports. Other noble acts - such as donating one's liver to a stranger, being a thought leader in transport engineering, and surviving a near fatal accident and now wanting to help other burn victims - sit comfortably with the rest of the heroes. Regardless of who is crowned the winner in February, Singapore is grateful for each of them.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
Alan Chan Heng Loon
SPH Chief Executive Officer
Patrick Daniel,Anthony Tan
Deputy Chief Executive Officers
Editor-in-Chief (English/Malay/Tamil Media Group) andThe Straits Times Editor
ST Executive Editor
Paul Jacob, Helen Chia, Rahul Pathak, Ravi Velloor, Ivan Fernandez
Lim Chuan Huat
Ong Hwee Hwee
Associate News Editor
Lee Su Shyan
Tan Hsueh Yun
Chua Mui Hoong
Associate Opinion Editor