2018 has been a big year for Singapore, with us being the ASEAN Chairman this year and hosting to the Trump-Kim Summit in June. Singaporeans have also continued to fly our flag high around the world and do us proud in their respective fields! Here are some notable moments for Singapore and Singaporeans this year, on an international scale.
UN treaty named after SG
First, there was the New York Convention for Arbitration, and then the Hague Convention for litigation. Now, there is a multilateral agreement for mediation, and it’s named after Singapore. The Singapore Convention on Mediation, which will be signed in Singapore in August 2019, is a milestone that caps off our efforts to improving and enhancing mediation processes within the country, while raising our international profile as a country known for dispute resolution.
Singapore Day 2018
This year’s Singapore Day was held at Peninsula Quays in London, with over 5,000 Singaporeans joining in the fun, exciting and heart-warming atmosphere of the biggest Singaporean reunion of the year. The event’s inaugural charity drive also raised more than SGD60K for two beneficiaries: the Alzheimer Disease Association and the Autism Resource Centre in Singapore, showing that #SGcares indeed.
Save the date for next year’s Singapore Day, to be held in Shanghai on 13 April 2019! Visit Singapore Day’s Facebook page for updates.
SGeans helping those in need - #SGcares
Aside from Singapore Day, participants at Pasar Singapura 2018 – a charity event by Singaporeans in New York City, and OSU – also raised US$20,000 (approximately S$27,000) for the Alzheimer Disease Association and the Autism Resource Centre in Singapore.
Singaporeans around the world also demonstrated bravery and tenacity as did their part to help those in need within their communities, and beyond. When the Thai cave rescue operation was ongoing in late June, Singaporean rescue diver Douglas Yeo flew to Chiang Rai to help, braving “freezing” temperatures and “zero visibility” underwater. In the midst of natural disasters, translator Regina Hong helped city authorities in Takikawa, Hokkaido with translating vital information in English and Chinese, and the late paraglider Ng Kok Choon helped rescue a local mother and daughter stuck under the rubble of a hotel after an earthquake in Palu, Indonesia.
Take a look at other inspiring stories of overseas Singaporeans doing good abroad: http://bit.ly/sgcares
Prestigious Accolades for SGeans
A number of Singaporeans were given international recognition for their contributions to society or achievements in their respective industries. In June, Mock Yi Jun and Oon Tian Sern received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the third and fourth Singaporeans to receive this honour.
At the inaugural Young Engineers Competition, Dr Victor Sim beat out 140 participants from other countries to emerge as the winner, and presented his water treatment system project at the Global Engineering Congress in London. Two Singaporean schoolgirls, 13-year-old Janine Shum and 16-year-old Ng Woon Neng also impressed the judging panel of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, coming up as junior winner and senior runner-up respectively.
There were also a substantial number of Singaporeans recognised in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list, with 24 individuals across areas like Finance & Venture Capital; Media, Marketing and Advertising; Healthcare; Entertainment & Sports; and The Arts.
Singaporeans in the Arts
From film to photography and music, Singaporeans once again shined in the international arts scene this year.
Singaporean directed films received awards at prestigious film festivals around the world, like Yeo Siew Hua’s ‘A Land Imagined’ at the 71st Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, and ‘Shirkers’ Sandi Tan’s Best Director nod at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary category. Ser En Low, the producer of the award-winning stop-motion short film ‘Poles Apart’, had the honour of receiving the film’s BAFTA Award for Best British Short Animation. Actor Chin Han and filmmaker Tan Pin Pin were also invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences as members.
Classical music took centre stage this year; with 11-year-old violinist Chloe Chua clinched the top prize in the 2018 Menuhin Competition’s junior division, while our very own NUSChoir was the first from Singapore to win ‘Choir of the World’ at the esteemed Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Along with being mentioned at this year’s National Day Rally, conductor Wong Kah Chun, who’s currently based in Nuremberg, Germany, will have the honour of conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Lunar New Year concert next year.
Singaporean photojournalist Sim Chi Yin, who became the first Singaporean Peace Prize photographer for the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, was conferred the 7th annual Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award in April, in recognition of her ‘photographic endeavours and compassionate pursuits’.
Team Singapore did our nation proud once more as they participated in numerous regional and international sports meets this year. Along with the Commonwealth Games in April and the Youth Olympic Games in October, our athletes took part in the Asian Games and Asian Para Games in August and September, with a medal haul of 22 and 10 medials respectively. They even set 1 Asian Games record, 8 national records and 18 personal bests!
Singapore also took part in the Winter Olympics for the first time in history, when speed skater Cheyenne Goh took to the ice for the short-track 1,500m event earlier this year. In another first, Singapore e-sports group Team Flash won our very first international team e-sports gold – a promising endeavour as e-sports will be considered a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, after a demonstration event at this year’s Games.
Singaporean Events around the World
As always, overseas Singaporeans rallied their respective communities and brought them closer through events and gatherings this year! Take a look at some of the overseas Singaporean events that took place around the world this year:
We look forward to more of Singapore’s achievements in 2019!