4 more names for ST Singaporean of the Year

(Clockwise from top left) Yip Pin Xiu,  Edwin Seah, Kavickumar Muruganathan,  Darrell Ang and Ang Thiam Hock have been named as the final four candidates for The Straits Times Singaporean Of The Year award.
(Clockwise from top left) Yip Pin Xiu, Edwin Seah, Kavickumar Muruganathan, Darrell Ang and Ang Thiam Hock have been named as the final four candidates for The Straits Times Singaporean Of The Year award. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM, SEAH KWANG PENG, ALICIA CHAN AND SINGAPORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

A Paralympian swimmer, a Singaporean conductor, a grassroots volunteer and a team of haze warriors - these are the final four candidates in a shortlist of 10 nominees for the inaugural Straits Times Singaporean Of The Year award.

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

In the final batch of shortlisted nominees is 52-year-old community volunteer Ang Thiam Hock, whose street soccer games with his son turned into a way to help troubled children in his Taman Jurong neighbourhood.

Paralympian swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, 24, set a world record just last month in the Asean Para Games, while conductor Darrell Ang, 36, received a Grammy nomination for his first CD recording.

Also shortlisted is the Singapore Environment Council team, which stepped up to fight the haze last year by putting pressure on major retailers to pull products from alleged haze culprits off their shelves.

The Singaporean Of The Year will receive $20,000 and a trophy, and the other nine nominees will each get $5,000 from sponsor UBS.

Now that the shortlist of 10 candidates is complete, a public vote will open tomorrow. The vote will be a factor in the final decision to be made by a panel of 15 judges. It will comprise editors and senior writers from the Straits Times newsroom, singer Kit Chan, youth leader David Hoe and chef  Willin Low.

Paralympian beats the odds to set world record

Paralympic gold medallist Yip says disabled athletes "can inspire many different groups of people - not just the disabled". ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Yip Pin Xiu is swimming against time - in more ways than one.

The Paralympian athlete chalked up a fresh victory against time when she broke a world record at the Asean Para Games (APG) last month, and snagged a gold medal.

But swimming is also her last bulwark in the slow war that time is waging on her body, as muscle after muscle degenerates.


Green champions put haze fight in consumers' hands

Singapore Environment Council Executive Director Edwin Seah (left) and eco-certification head Kavickumar Muruganathan. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG

As a child, Kavickumar Muruganathan thought the hazy skies that descended upon Singapore every year were a distant problem, and that it was "just burning in Indonesia".

It was only after he started studying haze hot spots in university that he realised local consumers have a major part to play in preventing them.

Mr Kavickumar, 27, joined the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) as its head of eco-certification shortly after graduating from the National University of Singapore in 2013.


Dad gets the ball rolling by helping at-risk kids

Mr Ang's football games with his son led to him helping at-risk children. He now helms outfits reaching out to youth and former offenders. ST PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN

Mr Ang Thiam Hock has watched many of the children in his estate grow up, as well as his own son.

The former sales consultant stopped work around six years ago and spends much of his time running a group that helps children at risk and co-managing a company that hires former offenders.

It all started over 10 years ago when he began playing street football with his son, then eight years old, in Taman Jurong.


Conductor hits right note with Grammy-nominated CD

Conductor Darrell Ang said he is pleased with the enthusiastic response to his first CD recording, Zhou Long & Chen Yi: Symphony "Humen 1839", which features him leading the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. PHOTO: SINGAPORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang's first CD recording has been nominated for a Grammy award for best orchestral performance, although he considers himself to be "not one for prizes or awards".

He first heard the news from a friend last month while rushing out of his room in Munich's Hotel Prinz.

"Oh, that's nice," he thought, only realising later that it was a bigger deal than he expected.


Read about the other nominees:

First batch of nominees for ST's Singaporean of the Year award unveiled

The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2015 award: Meet the second batch of nominees

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2016, with the headline 'The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2015 award'. Print Edition | Subscribe