The SMOU Bursary and Scholarship Awards amounting to S$33,700 – 24 bursaries, 18 scholarships, 23 Wavelink Book Awards and 1 SMOU Care Fund – Bursary Assistance, were presented to 50 recipients for their exemplary academic results and encouragement. The awards were co-funded by NTUC U Care Fund under the U Care Education Co-Funding Scheme, with the Wavelink Book Awards sponsored by Wavelink Co-operative Ltd. Since 1982, SMOU has disbursed more than S$1.6 million in bursary and scholarship awards to members’ children.
Mr Rahim Jaffar, President of SMOU believes: “Our children today will make the Singapore talent of tomorrow.” He expressed his pride for the young and hardworking award recipients and encouraged the attendees, no matter their age, to develop a spirit of lifelong learning.
Guest-of-Honour, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Ms Quah Ley Hoon was just as proud of the SMOU Bursary and Scholarship Award recipients. Having been in the same position before in her younger days as a beneficiary, she encouraged the awardees, saying – “It tells me that you are not alone in this pursuit of excellence – there are a lot of others who are also with you.”
Ms Quah encouraged the youth to work at developing meaning, people and adversity quotients in pursuit of their future courses of study and careers. “Wherever you go, whether it’s your studies, or whether it’s in the profession or work that you do, you must find meaning. And the more meaninful the job is to you, the more you’re driven without having to worry about other things.” She also shared about the advancing and evolving maritime sector, actively calling for talents of different kinds to join them to contribute to the sector.
First recipient of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Studies Scholarship Award, Huey Min has been passionate about medicine from as young as 13 years old. Currently in her gap year, she is in an internship programme with Changi General Hospital in the research department. “Because studying medicine is a long-term commitment – I know that it’s a lifetime commitment, so I want to be very sure of my goals before I really start to pursue it,” says Huey Min, explaining her reasons for taking a gap year. Her father, Mr Ng Kean Seng, SMOU member for 32 years, was grateful that SMOU offered this new scholarship category for IB studies.
Scholarship awardee (A levels) Mark Tan recalls receiving his first SMOU scholarship award when he completed his PSLE. Grateful for the union’s support, Mark talked about saving the award money for his tertiary education. He had just completed his ‘A’ levels and would be pursuing a degree in NUS, majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. His father, Daryl Tan, SMOU member for 40 years, and his family felt really at home at the presentation ceremony, because they were amongst SMOU family.
It was triple celebration for Abdul Rahmat Mohamad Salleh, SMOU member for 28 years. He was at the presentation ceremony with his wife and eldest daughter to cheer on his daughters Amilah Khairanah (Polytechnic) and Zatu Imanah (University), and son Hibatul (Polytechnic) for receiving their respective levels’ bursary award. Since 2013, his children have been recipients of SMOU bursary grants and the Wavelink Book Award.
A recipient since her primary school days, Sim See received the University Bursary Award for the last time. She expressed her deep appreciation to the union – “It’s always very heartening to know that there’s a union that will support me,” says Sim See, daughter of Danny Sim, an SMOU member for 39 years. She was also thankful for SMOU’s efforts in organising member events, quoting Annual Family Gathering as an event that encourages the family to get together.
Not only did the students treasure the moment, but so did their parents. Mr Rehan Ahmad, SMOU member of 6 years, said that he was very proud of his son, Muhammad Affan. Observing the presentation with his wife and youngest son, both parents shared how it was challenging in the past to raise their three children while Mr Ahmad was at sea. But moments like these make them proud and blessed, as they are able to witness their child grow up and achieve great things.