Speech by Ms Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Education at 4pm's Annual Bestari Award Ceremony

Published Date: 12 November 2019 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Good morning,

1. It is a great pleasure to be here today at Empat PM's Bestari Award Presentation Ceremony because we are celebrating the achievements of 45 outstanding Malay/Muslim students from all three ITE colleges – all 45 of whom received the Bestari Award. Most of the recipients are currently pursuing their diploma in the local polytechnics, while some are continuing their Higher Nitec or serving National Service (NS).

2. Over the years, Empat PM has been working closely with ITE, empowering their students and strengthening the social fabric of the community. They provide effective developmental programmes to prepare our youths to be caring practitioners, and also offer these youths the opportunities to volunteer and contribute back to society and the community. These interactions and strong partnerships are crucial as they lend that much-needed human touch to nurture our youths and instil good values in them. Well done to Empat PM and ITE for this excellent partnership!

Making Waves Tomorrow - Building a Care Enabling Community

3. An example of an outstanding youth volunteer of Empat PM is Muhammad Iqbar. A past Bestari Award recipient, Iqbar is currently pursuing a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic. When he was the Vice-President of the Student Council at ITE College East, Iqbar represented Singapore at the ASEAN Youth Development & Networking Program in Okinawa, Japan, as well as the ASEAN-Korea Frontier Forum in Busan, South Korea. Iqbar lent his expertise and volunteered in a number of Empat PM's activities. In fact, he is leading the Bestari Award committee this year. He and his team conceptualised the theme for today's ceremony – Making Waves Tomorrow. It encourages us to come together to build a better future for the community, much like how he and many other Empat PM volunteers have already been doing.

4. Recently, I witnessed four youths from Empat PM receiving the National Youth Achievement Award or the NYAA Gold Award from President Halimah: Lukman Hakim, Muhammad Rasoul, Jordan Ng and Syahir Suharman. They all began as mentees in the Empat PM FRENZ programme. The 12-month extensive programme provides disengaged students with socio-emotional support and equips them with life skills. After completing the programme and graduating, these four youths contributed back to the community by being mentors to disadvantaged youths. They played the big brother role to their charges, and ensured that they stayed out of trouble. Because of Lukman, Rasoul, Jordan and Syahir, more youths are following in their footsteps, and I am hopeful that they will complete the NYAA Gold next year too.

5. Empat PM's goals to strengthen support for youths, especially those from disadvantaged families, align closely with the inter-agency taskforce – UPLIFT – that I am spearheading in MOE. UPLIFT seeks to strengthen support for students from disadvantaged families; understand, identify and address gaps which prevent students from reaching their full potential.

6. Efforts by youth mentors like Lukman, Rasoul, Jordan and Syahir are laudable. UPLIFT is encouraging more of such mentoring efforts, so that we have more positive role models who can journey with disadvantaged students. I strongly believe that these opportunities will also benefit the mentors and allow them to flourish as more empathetic and caring members of society.

7. To the 2019 Bestari Awardees, I hope that you will not only grow to become exemplary community service leaders, but also help to foster strong bonds within the communities you serve. I also hope that you will continue to volunteer actively even after you graduate.

8. Before I conclude, allow me to say a few words in Malay.

9. Anak helang terbang tinggi,
Tinggi menjulang terbang di awan;
Belia cemerlang tampak bestari,
Terus gemilang tanpa sepadan

(Meaning)

To all the award winners whose journey in life has just begun, spread your wings and soar up high. May your light shine bright as you continue to break through barriers and achieve success.

10. Selamat maju jaya kepada semua penerima Anugerah Bestari. Anggaplah anugerah yang diterima pada hari ini sebagai pemacu untuk kita terus melakukan yang lebih baik dalam hidup kita. Saya berharap, sewaktu anda masih muda dan bertenaga ini, gunakan masa muda anda dan capailah sebanyak ilmu. Bantulah mereka yang memerlukan sekiranya ada kelebihan tenaga dan terus berkhidmat kepada masyarakat.

(Translation)

I hope our award winners will take this opportunity to heed the call to action as I believe that these opportunities will benefit you in the long run. You may be recipients of the goodwill of others today but you can certainly be the givers of goodwill to others tomorrow. I encourage you to continue giving your best in all that you do so you can make greater waves tomorrow.

11. Terima kasih.

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