Interfaith champion Siti Noor Mastura is ST Singaporean of the Year

Siti Noor Mastura co-founded non-profit organisation Interfaith Youth Circle, and Back2Basics, a volunteer group which distributes groceries to underprivileged families. The 28-year-old beat 10 other finalists for the award, now in its fourth year.
Ms Siti Noor Mastura being congratulated by fellow nominees (from left) Kenneth and Adeline Thong, Teo You Yenn, Robert Chew and Elizabeth Tan after being named The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year for 2018 at the Istana yesterday. The co-founde
Ms Siti Noor Mastura being congratulated by fellow nominees (from left) Kenneth and Adeline Thong, Teo You Yenn, Robert Chew and Elizabeth Tan after being named The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year for 2018 at the Istana yesterday. The co-founder of Interfaith Youth Circle received a cash prize of $20,000 and a trophy from President Halimah Yacob.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Interfaith champion Siti Noor Mastura has been named The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year for 2018.

Ms Noor Mastura, 28, is the co-founder of non-profit organisation Interfaith Youth Circle, which conducts scriptural reasoning sessions, where people discuss passages from religious texts of different faiths that touch on common themes.

It also runs campaigns such as Break Bread Build Bridges, which encourages people from a community who celebrate a religious festival to host someone who is not from that faith so others can experience, say, Hari Raya or Christmas in the home of the host.

President Halimah Yacob presented Ms Noor Mastura with a cash prize of $20,000 and a trophy at the Istana yesterday.

The award, now in its fourth year, is organised by The Straits Times and presented by UBS Singapore.

It honours Singaporeans who have put the country on the world map, persevered through incredible adversity or made the community a better place through their selfless acts.

Madam Halimah paid tribute to this year's 11 finalists, saying: "From feeding the poor and providing shelter to needy youngsters to leveraging technology to reach under-served needs, you all share some common traits.

"You place the needs of others above your own and worked tirelessly for the community."

Madam Halimah said she hoped that their examples would inspire other Singaporeans to do good.

Janice Tai

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2019, with the headline 'Interfaith champion is ST Singaporean of the Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe