SINGAPORE - About 150 pioneers from the media, infocomm, library and design sectors were recognised on Friday for their contributions to their industries.
Some 70 per cent of them were former and current employees from the public sector, while the rest were from the private sector.
In a Pioneer Generation Tribute and National Day Observance Ceremony, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said that as the country celebrates its 50th year of independence next year, "we must remember the people who rose to the challenge of nation building at a time of great uncertainty".
"Our pioneers have contributed to the growth and development of our respective sectors in one way or the other, directly or indirectly in big ways and small," said Dr Yaacob at the Ministry of Communications and Information Building.
He cited pioneers who contributed to the media industry such as Asiah Aman, better known as Nona Asiah, a famous singer and actress from the 1940s to the 1970s. She became well known after her Malay rendition of the Mexican song Besame Mucho.
Dr Yaacob also paid tribute to civil servants such as Madam Ko Joon Chin from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, who was involved in the production and distribution of phonebooks, as well as the transition from four digit postal codes to the current six digit ones.
Other pioneers recognised included actor, comedian and entertainer Moses Lim and fashion designer Thomas Wee.
Dr Yaacob said that it is up to the next generation to carry on the legacy of Singapore's pioneers.
"Our young officers have the privilege of learning from the wealth of experience and to be inspired by our pioneer generation," he said.
Dr Yaacob also presented pioneers with framed front pages from the Jan 1 edition of The Straits Times from their birth years. Pioneers born during the war years were presented with the first copy of The Straits Times front page published after World War II on Sept 7, 1945.
Each pioneer was also presented with a commemorative stamp booklet produced by SingPost.