In an official statement released on Wednesday, October 25, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) disclosed that Madam Halimah Yacob, Singapore’s eighth president, is slated to receive the nation’s esteemed Order of Temasek from her successor, President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, during the National Awards Investiture this Sunday.
Madam Halimah, who notably emerged as the country’s first female president after an uncontested, race-reserved election from 2017 to 2023, heads this year’s list of National Award recipients. In May, she announced that she would not seek a second term and would not be contesting in the Presidential Election scheduled for 1 September.
Her presidency was marked by significant decisions, including sanctioning the government’s draws on past reserves to support the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, she has been a stalwart advocate for women’s issues and various other social causes.
This high honour places Madam Halimah in esteemed company, alongside former Presidents Wee Kim Wee, S R Nathan, and Dr Tony Tan, who have all similarly been conferred with the Order of Temasek in the past. Other illustrious personalities who have received this recognition include former Chief Justice Yong Pung How, ex-Temasek Holdings chairman S Dhanabalan, and former Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar.
The PMO’s website highlights that the Order of Temasek was inaugurated in 1962 and is segmented into three grades. Though primarily awarded to Singapore citizens, exceptional non-citizens may also receive the honor under extraordinary circumstances. A prime example is Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who in 2014 was bestowed the highest grade of the Order for his contributions to regional cooperation and fostering robust bilateral relations between Indonesia and Singapore.
The Order of Temasek stands as a highly prestigious award, second only to the Star of Temasek, which is reserved for Singapore’s military and civil defense personnel demonstrating acts of incredible bravery or commitment to duty under perilous conditions.
President Madam Halimah has been lauded by the People’s Action Party for her approval of the government’s draws on past reserves during the COVID-19 pandemic and for her advocacy for women’s issues, among other social causes.
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