ST Singaporean of the Year to be named today

The first Straits Times Singaporean of the Year will be announced today from a list of nominees. The finalists include Darrel Ang (left), Ang Thiam Hock (centre) and Yip Pin Xiu.
The first Straits Times Singaporean of the Year will be announced today from a list of nominees. The finalists include Darrel Ang (left), Ang Thiam Hock (centre) and Yip Pin Xiu. ST PHOTO: FILE, ALICIA CHAN, CHEW SENG KIM

Winner picked from 10 candidates after public vote, deliberation by judging panel

The first Straits Times Singaporean of the Year will be announced today at an award ceremony attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

This follows a public vote and deliberation by a panel of judges on which of the 10 candidates shortlisted last year should win the title.

The award, supported by the bank UBS Singapore, seeks to recognise Singaporeans whose extraordinary acts of goodwill, ingenuity or perseverance improved their community and the lives of others last year.

The ceremony will be held at UBS Business University, formerly the Command House, a national monument near Adam Road.

There, PM Lee will present to the Singaporean of the Year a cash prize of $20,000 and a trophy. The other nine nominees will each get $5,000 from sponsor UBS.

Before the public vote closed last Thursday, Paralympian swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, 24, and good Samaritan Noriza A. Mansor, 50, led the polls.

Ms Yip, who has muscular dystrophy, broke a world record at the Asean Para Games last December, while Madam Noriza stepped forward to help an old man who had soiled himself in a Toa Payoh supermarket.

The public vote was taken into consideration by a panel of 15 judges, including Straits Times editors and writers, as well as figures such as social entrepreneur and activist Saleemah Ismail, civil servant Aaron Maniam and youth leader David Hoe, when they made their final decision last Friday.

Three readers who voted also stand to win a $100 Takashimaya voucher each.

Read more ST Singaporean of the Year stories here.


The nominees

DARRELL ANG: The 36-year-old conductor's first CD recording has been nominated for a Grammy award for best orchestral performance, making him the second Singaporean to receive a nod from the illustrious music awards.

ANG THIAM HOCK: Mr Ang, 52, sacrificed his sales consultant job six years ago to do grassroots work in Taman Jurong, after nightly street soccer games with his son blossomed into a way to keep the neighbourhood kids out of trouble.

BEN CHEONG: Mr Cheong, 56, began Magical Light Foundation more than two years ago in Thailand to help the poor across Asia, such as building schools in remote villages in Myanmar and raising funds for children with HIV in Cambodia.

PETER HO: Mr Ho, 37, gave up a jet-setting career as a race car engineer to return to Singapore, where he co-founded start-up Hope Technik in 2006 with three former classmates to put his country's technology on the world map.

JOSHUA KHOO AND DYLAN ONG: Mr Khoo (left), 31, and Mr Ong, 28, started French restaurant Saveur as a hawker stall four years ago so they could serve fancy French food to the masses at affordable prices.

LIM NGHEE HUAT AND YONG YUEN CHENG: Mr Lim (left), 62, a media producer, and Mr Yong, 44, a teacher, marked SG50 running 2,500km in 50 days, braving the heat, strained tendons and bouts of diarrhoea to do so.

NORIZA A. MANSOR: While others recoiled, Madam Noriza, 50, helped Mr Tan Soy Yong, 70, who had soiled himself in a supermarket in October 2013. Since then, the saleswoman regularly spends her days off visiting Mr Tan and his wife.

EDWIN SEAH AND KAVICKUMAR MURUGANATHAN: Mr Seah (left), 45, Singapore Environment Council's executive director, and Mr Kavickumar, 27, its head of eco-certification, took the lead to get retailers to declare they did not sell alleged haze culprits' products last year.

WONG LI WAI: During the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2013, Ms Wong, 38, volunteered for five weeks in Sierra Leone to care for infected patients. She returned last March and spent two months doing outreach work about the disease.

YIP PIN XIU: Born with muscular dystrophy, Ms Yip, 24, won Singapore's first Paralympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008. At the Asean Para Games in Singapore last December, she broke a world record in the women's 50m backstroke S2.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2016, with the headline 'ST S'porean of the Year to be named today'. Print Edition | Subscribe