Who should be Singaporean of the Year?

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Peter Lim Kok Seng; Dr Lim Chien Chuan, Dr Tan May Yen and Dr Chi Wei Ming; Ms Theresa Goh and Ms Yip Pin Xiu; and Mr John Shu.
(Clockwise from top left) Mr Peter Lim Kok Seng; Dr Lim Chien Chuan, Dr Tan May Yen and Dr Chi Wei Ming; Ms Theresa Goh and Ms Yip Pin Xiu; and Mr John Shu. PHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Joseph Schooling and his dad Colin and mum May Ms Theresa Goh (left) and Ms Yip Pin Xiu Dr Sudha Nair Mr Nathan Hartono Ms Megan Loy (above) and her doctors Mr Eric Lew Ashvin Gunasegaran Mr Jabez Tan Mr John Shu Dr Radiah Salim Mr Peter Lim Kok Seng
Mr Peter Lim Kok SengPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Dr Lim Chien Chuan, Dr Tan May Yen and Dr Chi Wei Ming
Dr Lim Chien Chuan, Dr Tan May Yen and Dr Chi Wei MingPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Joseph Schooling and his dad Colin and mum May
Joseph Schooling and his dad Colin and mum MayPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Ms Theresa Goh (left) and Ms Yip Pin Xiu
Ms Theresa Goh (left) and Ms Yip Pin XiuPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Mr Nathan Hartono
Mr Nathan HartonoPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Dr Sudha Nair
Dr Sudha NairPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Ms Megan Loy (above) and her doctors
Ms Megan Loy (above) and her doctorsPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Mr Eric Lew
Mr Eric LewPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Ashvin Gunasegaran
Ashvin GunasegaranPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Dr Radiah Salim
Dr Radiah SalimPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Mr John Shu
Mr John ShuPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE
Mr Jabez Tan
Mr Jabez TanPHOTOS: ST DIGITAL, ST FILE

Their haul of two gold medals and a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this year produced Singapore's best performance at the Games and generated a huge debate over whether cash rewards for athletes with disabilities and able-bodied athletes should be the same.

But when they are not competing, Paralympians Yip Pin Xiu, 24, and Theresa Goh, 29, are also best friends who have known each other for a decade.

In a charming video of them at the nostalgic Katong Swimming Complex, one of Singapore's oldest swimming pools, the pair trade jokes and reveal curious trivia about each other, such as Goh's penchant for "things that are not in their correct sizes", like a "giant pen" or "a really tiny sushi", and her tendency to lapse into Singlish during interviews.

Stories of other candidates who have been nominated for The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2016 award can also now be viewed online.

Supported by UBS Singapore, this is the second run of the award, which seeks to recognise Singaporeans who have put the country on the world map, persevered despite great adversity or made the community a better place through selfless acts.

One of the nominees, 19-year-old Megan Loy, is interviewed on camera together with her doctors for the first time.

The teen suffered serious burns at the Colour Play Asia festival in Taiwan last year when a fire broke out, but pulled through with the help of Associate Professor Tan Bien Keem, 51, and plastic surgeon Chew Khong Yik, 40, from the Singapore General Hospital.

Spurred by their dedication, she now wants to specialise in burns treatment and plastic surgery, and is studying medicine at the National University of Singapore.

Other good Samaritans who stepped forward to help strangers - such as 50-year-old John Shu, who gave $6,000 to a single mother to pursue her education, or 12-year-old Ashvin Gunasegaran, who helped a car accident victim in May - have also been nominated.

A public vote for the winner is now open and will close on Thursday next week.

The vote will be a factor in the final decision by a panel of 15 judges, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony on Feb 6.


Thank you for your interest in ST Singaporean of the Year 2016, public voting is now closed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2016, with the headline 'Who should be Singaporean of the Year? Cast vote now'. Print Edition | Subscribe