SPD-APB Foundation Scholarship Awards 2005 – Speech by Ms Chia Yong Yong

Mr Heng Chee How, 

Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Minister of State for National Development, and Mayor of Central Singapore District

Mr Koh Poh Tiong,
Chairman, Executive Committee, Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation

Mr See Cher,
President, The Society for the Physically Disabled

Scholarship Award Recipients and Friends

Good Morning.
Welcome to this year’s SPD-Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship award presentation.


Today, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation, we will be presenting scholarship awards to two very deserving individuals. Both students of SMU, Liew Chong Heng, 2nd year Information System Management student and Jan Lee, 1st year Accountancy student, have been selected for their excellent results in their studies and community service. Both will be receiving $11,000 this year for their tuition fees, books, living expenses and transport.

Chong Heng and Jan are both students from our Education Programme and have been growing with SPD for many years now. To see them excelling in the mainstream education system and being role models for other disabled students in Singapore brings much joy to us. They exemplify the motto of our Education Programme of learning, growing and serving.

They follow in the footsteps of last year’s scholars – Cai Zhenquan, Nurulasyiqah bte Mohammad Taha and Liew Chong Choon – also receiving their awards for the second year today. Individually, this pioneer batch of scholars have continued doing well in their studies in the last year and are also helping out extensively in their schools and at other organisations. They have certainly done us proud and we look forward to the same from our new scholars.

The SPD-Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship is made possible through APB Foundation’s $220,000 sponsorship which will see the programme through from 2004 to 2007. Under the Scholarship, two scholars are selected each year based on their academic performance and community service. In addition to the scholarship, they will also receive career guidance at SPD to help them decide on appropriate courses that best suit their interest.

The SPD-Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship raises the profile of people with physical disabilities. The Scholars are role models for others, and through their examples, disabled and non-disabled alike will know that in their own ways, they too are capable of doing at least as much as they have.

That our Scholars are all able to achieve so much is in no small part due to the support they receive from their families, and teachers, principals, and friends who have crossed their path. I take this opportunity to thank you for all you’ve done that has helped them achieve the honour today.

We also thank APB Foundation for making the Scholarship possible. We hope that other organisations will emulate your example and similarly give their support to people with physical disabilities and help build a truly inclusive society in Singapore.

We also thank the Asian Women’s Welfare Association and other organisations that have helped to make the Scholarship known to students with physical disabilities. Five applications were received this year and we hope to have more come in next year. Special thanks also to Mr Heng Chee How for gracing this event and lending weight to the occasion.

Dr William Tan, doctor, neuroscientist, Fulbright and Raffles scholar, said, “I may not have good legs, but I have a good mind and good pair of arms. I can make the best of whatever remaining abilities I have.” On a wheelchair, he recently became the first paraplegic to complete 10 marathons on 7 continents in 70 days to raise funds for charity. I wish our Scholars such perseverance and determination in your journey, as well as such compassion for others.

Thank you.