The conferment of this year's top National Day award to former Singapore President S R Nathan is a token of appreciation for his many contributions to Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday.
Mr Nathan served in many capacities, in the foreign affairs and defence ministries, as an ambassador overseas, doing community work and two terms as Singapore's head of state, Mr Lee told reporters on the sidelines of a National Day observance ceremony.
PM Lee said: "He has made very many contributions to Singapore over many years.
"This is a token of appreciation and recognition to him."
Mr Nathan was conferred the Order of Temasek (First Class) for exemplary service to the nation, the seventh person in Singapore's history to be given the honours.
The morning's event was held at Teck Ghee Primary School in Mr Lee's ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Mr Lee, joined by Madam Ho Ching, cut a cake for the nation's 48th birthday. He later mingled with the crowd in the school canteen, shaking hands and posing for photographs.