Mr Wong Kan Seng, former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship Council. Mr Wong, who succeeds Mr Ngiam Tong Dow, began his three-year term on 3 August 2011.
The Fellowship is a joint initiative between the Lien Foundation and NTU to groom established and emerging leaders from Singapore and China. Through a high-level exchange programme, the scholars will conduct research that will foster positive change back in their country.
This year, six senior Singapore Government officials have been awarded the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship. This is double the number of Fellows that have been appointed from the inaugural batch two years ago. The six Lien Fellows met Mr Wong at the Opening Ceremony of the Singapore Lien Fellowship Programme 2011 at the Nanyang Executive Centre in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today.
On his appointment, Mr Wong said, “The Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship plays a positive role in strengthening ties and promoting understanding between Singapore and China. It brings about closer people-to-people ties through exchange programmes among government officials.
“As the Fellowship programme grows, we will see the building and forging of relationships between our officials and our people. This, in turn, will deepen the ties between our countries. It makes a small but significant contribution to the bilateral ties between both countries. It is my honour to chair the Fellowship programme and further this meaningful cause.”
The Fellowship is administered by the Nanyang Centre of Public Administration (NCPA) at NTU. NCPA’s Director Dr Wu Wei looks forward to Mr Wong playing a leading role in the Fellowship Council. He said: “Mr Wong has served the Singapore Cabinet for many years, and had many engagements with China in his capacity in the various Ministries, and has vast experience chairing a number of ministerial-level committees involving projects in China.
“Mr Wong was also the Minister in-charge of the National Population and Talent Division which was set up under the Prime Minister’s Office to coordinate Singapore’s population and talent policies across ministries. His appointment will definitely make a huge contribution in fostering the bilateral relationship between Singapore and China.”
The Fellowship Council, comprising of eminent public figures and private individuals as well as representatives from the Lien Foundation, contributes to the strategic oversight of the programme. In addition, the members are actively involved in the recruitment of candidates and form the selection panel of the Lien Fellows. They also act as resource persons, providing networking opportunities as well as personally enriching the exposure of the Fellows.
Six top government officials awarded the prestigious Lien Fellowship
The six senior Singapore Government officials who have been awarded the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship were nominated and selected by the Public Service Division through a stringent interview and selection process. They are high-flyers with proven track records in the civil service. (Refer to Fact Sheet for scholars’ profile).
Ms Lim Soo Hoon, Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division), Prime Minister’s Office, said: “The Lien Fellowship Programme provides valuable opportunities for our public officers to gain a deeper understanding of developments in China as well as expand their networks. Participants have shared that they have benefitted from the flexible programme structure and enriching research experience. The programme has helped our officers to get better insights into China. “
One of the notable Lien Fellow is Ms Rosa Chen, the Deputy Secretary (Policy) of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. Ms Chen has proven herself in the public service, having risen through the ranks at various ministries. Her research focus will be on environmental protection and sustainable development in China.
“This Fellowship Programme is a valuable opportunity to deepen our understanding of China’s policy priorities and strategies through structured interactions with experts and learning visits to various institutions and cities in China. We will also benefit from being part of a strong network of Fellows from China and Singapore,” said Ms Chen.
Another notable senior official inducted into the programme this year is Mr Ng Cher Pong, the Deputy Secretary (Policy) of the Ministry of Education. Mr Ng has served in various Government ministries and statutory boards with distinction and he will be zooming in on current developments in the higher education sector in China, especially the challenges that confronts the Chinese universities.
The Lien Fellows will undergo a one-year customised programme that includes networking, workshops, seminars and coursework. They will also undertake a short-term study at China, as well as study tours to other institutions in China to pursue policy research in their areas of expertise. Drawing on their insights into China’s economic and social policies and governance, they will formulate policy recommendations to address issues and concerns and foster positive change in Singapore.
“Many of the scholars have given us very positive feedback on the Fellowship. Most of them have indicated that the programme has given them the opportunity to deepen their understanding on China, and sharpen their mind and thinking, which are very useful in their career development. For example, one of the first Singapore Fellows, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, was shortly promoted to Chief Executive Office, International Enterprise Singapore, after completing the programme,” added Dr Wu.
The Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship was jointly established in 2007 by NTU and the Lien Foundation to honour the legacy of the late Dr Lien Ying Chow (1906-2004), one of the co-founders of Nanyang University, the predecessor of NTU. Modelled after the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship in the United States, the Lien Fellowship programme leverages on NTU's global network and extensive links with China to facilitate the professional development of rising leaders in Singapore and China.
Wang Meng Meng
Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6681