Speech by Ng Chee Meng, Acting Minister for Education (Schools) at the Bestari Award Presentation Ceremony

Published Date: 25 October 2016 12:00 AM

News Speeches

1. A very good afternoon. I am pleased to join you at the Malay Youth Literary Association, or Empat PM’s Bestari Award presentation ceremony where we recognise 45 outstanding Malay/Muslim students from all three ITE colleges.

2. I would first like to commend ITE and Empat PM for their 16 years of partnership. Through Project Bestari ITE or "Project bITE", both organisations worked closely with students, parents, teachers and mentors to harness the potential of our youths, and recognise the contributions of ITE youths to the community.

3. Over the years, Project bITE has reached out and benefited more than 25,000 students in ITE, of various races and backgrounds.

4. An example of a youth who benefitted from Project bITE is Muhammad Haiquel Bin Azman who graduated from ITE College East. Despite having to work part-time to help with the family’s finances, Haiquel still managed his time well and is an active member in his CCA “Club Apex” while in ITE. Through “Club Apex”, Haiquel represented the school in various endurance sports events such as SAFRA Bay Run, Commando Challenge and The Home Team NS Real Run. He was appointed Chairman of “Club Apex” last year, and took the lead in organising events such as the APEX Orientation Camp, the Business Services Course Orientation Camp and also a trip to Mount Yong Yap in Malaysia. His leadership and active participation in “Club Apex” earned him the Empat PM Bestari Award today. Congratulations!

5. Many Project bITE participants continue to serve the community even after graduating from ITE. To provide more platforms for our youths to be involved, I am glad to learn that Bestari award winners are inducted into the newly-formed Bestari Club, where they can continue to contribute through programmes such as Ramadan on Wheels and various youth camps.

6. Syahir Chaqif Bin Abdul Rasid is one of our Empat PM Bestari Award alumni. He received the Award in 2010 while studying in ITE Collage Central and remains an active volunteer with Empat PM today.

7. Syahir Chaqif first helped out as a mentor in a programme for juvenile youths called PODZ, participating in activities such as soccer with his charges so as to keep them engaged. At the same time, he joined the organising committee for Project bITE and led in the logistic and programming for activities such as the Integration Camp, Bestari Award and Night Adventure. He also volunteered in other programmes such as Bahas Empat PM and Ramadan on Wheels where he mentored his fellow volunteer peers to carry out their duties.

8. Syahir Chaqif graduated from Singapore Polytechnic in 2013 with a Diploma in Marine Engineering after he completed his Higher Nitec in Marine Offshore Technology. He is currently working at Keppel Offshore and Marine. Syahir Chaqif is here with us today, as one of Empat PM’s Management Committee Member and also the co-chairman for Project bITE.

9. I hope Syahir Chaqif story will inspire all the Bestari Award winners to do more in giving back to the community and society.

10. Congratulations to all our Bestari Award winners. As you continue your education journey, I urge everyone to continue serving as role models for future ITE students so that they too can follow in your footsteps in striving for excellence. My appreciation as well to the principals, lecturers, Empat PM management committee and staff for contributing to the success of this programme.

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