The first few years of the pandemic were a difficult, delicate time for Singapore.
But our community, businesses and the Government rallied, kept the nation going and paved the way for people to emerge stronger.
So people and teams whose public-spiritedness and contributions aided the nation’s fight against Covid-19 will receive special state awards, the Prime Minister’s Office announced on December 29.
There will be over 100,000 of these awards in total, comprising the National Awards (Covid-19) and the Covid-19 Resilience Medal (CRM) categories.
National Awards (Covid-19)
“The National Awards (Covid-19) recognise selected individuals and teams who have made significant contributions towards Singapore’s fight against Covid-19,” explained the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“More than 10,000 individuals and teams will receive the National Awards (Covid-19).”
These National Awards come in nine categories.
With the most important Award listed first, they are:
- the Meritorious Service Medal (Covid-19)
- the Public Service Star (Covid-19)
- the Public Administration Medal (Gold) (Covid-19)
- the Medal of Valour (Covid-19),
- silver and bronze versions of the Public Administration Medal
- the Commendation Medal (Covid-19),
- the Public Service Medal (Covid-19)
- the President’s Certificate of Commendation (Covid-19)
The Meritorious Service Medal (Covid-19) (MSM), in particular, is for individuals who “demonstrated unwavering commitment and exemplary leadership in coordinating Singapore’s response to the pandemic, leading nationwide efforts to safeguard lives and livelihoods, and steer us on the road to recovery,” stated the PMO.
Its three recipients include A/P Kenneth Mak, who crafted the overall strategy for managing the outbreak as well as the spread of Covid-19 in the community — in addtion to engaging and reassuring the public about the Government’s health measures.
The second recipient is Mr Tan Chong Meng, who kept Singapore’s supply chains stable, set up emergency infrastructure and co-chaired the Emerging Stronger taskforce to keep Singapore resilient during and after the worst of the pandemic era.
And Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs Mr Pang Kin Keong is the third recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal (Covid-19).
His leadership was “an example of grace under pressure”, said the PMO.
“He mobilised agencies across the people, private and public sectors to respond to the crisis, anticipate possible Covid-19 trajectories, develop action plans for the different stages of the pandemic, and later take steps to return to normalcy.”
The PMO also noted that Mr Pang’s leadership helped Singapore’s public service anticipate and respond swiftly and effectively to the complex threats of the pandemic.
“And it was in large part due to his leadership that morale in the public service never flagged during the crisis,” wrote the PMO.
PM Lee’s congratulations
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also directly acknowledged the nation’s efforts in managing the pandemic and commended those who will be receiving these Awards.
“We’ve battled Covid-19 for three years,” he posted the same day that the Awards were announced.
“Healthcare workers worked tirelessly to care for their patients; public officers toiled round the clock to minimise disruptions to our daily lives; businesses partnered unions to put employees first; and community groups took special care of our vulnerable.”
The Prime Minister also made good on his National Day Rally assurance.
“At this year’s National Day Rally, I said we would recognise those who have participated directly, or contributed exceptionally, in fighting the pandemic”
“Congratulations to the 100,000 individuals and teams from the public, private and people sectors who will receive National Awards (Covid-19) and the Covid-19 Resilience Medal! Thank you for the hard work and sacrifice,” he added.
The Government will announce the names of the approximately 99,000 individuals and 800 teams receiving the CRM at a later date.
And, as to when the Awards ceremony will be held? Here’s what PM Lee said at the National Day Rally:
“We will announce the awards list at the end of the year, and hold the award ceremonies next year to thank everyone properly in person.”
So that’s something good for Singaporeans to anticipate, come 2023.
Top image credit: PMO