Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Integrity, service & excellence remain core values of S'pore public service

SINGAPORE: Integrity, service and excellence will remain core values of the Singapore public service, even as it transforms itself to better serve the public.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said this at the annual Public Service Commission's (PSC) scholarship ceremony.

"Officers know that as stewards of public resources, they are expected to perform their duties with the highest standards of integrity. They must guard against any behaviour that can erode the trust Singaporeans have in the public service."

The comment comes amidst ongoing court cases involving former high-ranking government officials who allegedly obtained sexual favours from women, in return for government contracts.

Mr Teo said as Singaporeans become more informed and participative, collaboration and engagement will be the two key trends that will shape the public service.

He urged public officers to work more closely with those who're prepared to spend time and energy to help make a difference.

61 young men and women were awarded the PSC scholarship this year.

They come from 15 schools across the country.

When Fanny Koh, a PSC scholarship recipient, was younger, she wanted to be a journalist and report on global humanitarian issues.

"Until someone once told me, there are a lot of people who need help in Singapore and within Asia itself. Why can't you help your own people first and the people in Asia, who are your neighbours, first? I think that was a driving force and a motivation for me," Koh said.

The former Ngee Ann Polytechnic student will study Liberal Arts at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

She hopes to contribute to the social sector when she returns.

Another recipient, Woo Wan Fong quit junior college after one year to pursue a course in film-making at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Woo said: "My family didn't object to me following this unconventional route, which is film-making. So I think that speaks for itself. It's a very, very strong form of support that they give me. Most Asian parents would want their children to pursue an academic route."

Woo will study politics, psychology and sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Isabell Chew faced some challenges on the home front during her preliminary examinations at Pioneer Junior College, but managed to overcome them.

"The fact that I do not want to disappoint them (parents) and actually (I) wanted to create something happy in the family. That is what actually motivated me."

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