SINGAPORE - Film-maker Anthony Chen, who directed the award-winning movie Ilo Ilo, was among six outstanding individuals who received the Singapore Youth Award (SYA) on Sunday.
The 29-year-old Ngee Ann Polytechnic film graduate was recognised for his achievements in film making and outstanding contribution to Singapore cinema. Ilo Ilo, which tells the story of a Singaporean family and their live-in maid, won accolades at the Golden Horse awards in Taiwan and the Cannes Film Festival. It was also the third-highest grossing local film last year, with earnings of over $1.2 million.
The other SYA winners this year are: mountaineer Jane Lee, 30; Timbre Group's co-founder Edward Chia, 29; paralympian Nurulasyiqah Taha, 29; oncologist and clinician scientist Iain Tan, 35, and Dr Kumaran Rasappan, 30.
Ms Lee, a management consultant, is the first South-east Asian woman to successfully climb "The Seven Summits" - the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents. Ms Nurul, who has spinal muscular atrophy, did Singapore proud by winning two gold medals in Boccia at this year's 7th Asean Para Games. Mr Chia's Timbre Group, meanwhile, provides a platform for young local artistes to showcase their talents.
Dr Tan of the National Cancer Centre Singapore researches on new ways for the early detection and diagnosis of colorectal cancers, while Dr Kumaran, an orthopaedic surgical resident with the National Healthcare Group, scaled mountains across Asia and South America, including Mount Everest, to raise funds for needy patients.
They received their awards from Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at a ceremony at the Istana on Sunday. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who is chairman of the National Youth Council which administers the SYA, was also present.
The award, in its 39th year, recognises contributions made by youth leaders aged 35 and below. Besides honouring outstanding individuals, team efforts were also recognised. University-YMCA Singapore received this year's SYA team award. The Malay Youth Literary Association was given the medal of commendation.
In his opening speech, Mr Edward D'Silva, chairman of the SYA panel, urged young people to remember that it is "our people" who have contributed to the Singapore as we know it today. He said: "These are people who have remained true to their roots; who continue to engage and do their part for communities as socially conscious citizens."
Before the award ceremony, about 60 youth were also invited to a dialogue at the Istana where they met the award winners.