SINGAPORE — Singapore’s former President Halimah Yacob has been conferred the Order of Temasek (With High Distinction), the nation’s highest civilian honour.
In a press statement released on Wednesday (Oct 25), the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said Madam Halimah will receive the award from her successor, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, at the National Awards Investiture on Sunday.
Madam Halimah, Singapore’s eighth president from 2017 to 2023 and its first female head of state, tops a list of National Award recipients this year.
Other former Singapore presidents who have received similar honours include Mr Wee Kim Wee, Mr S R Nathan, and Dr Tony Tan.
Former Chief Justice Yong Pung How, former Temasek Holdings chairman S Dhanabalan and former Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar were also conferred the highest level of what is known as the Darjah Utama Temasek.
According to PMO’s website, the honour was introduced in 1962 and has three grades — Order of Temasek (With High Distinction), Order of Temasek (With Distinction), and Order of Temasek.
Only Singapore citizens can be admitted to the Order, with non-Singapore citizens admitted under special circumstances.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was one such recipient, having been conferred in 2014 the highest grade of the Order of Temasek, for his contribution to regional cooperation and the close bilateral ties between the two countries.
The Order of Temasek is second in prestige to the Star of Temasek, a decoration awarded only to members of the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force or Singapore Civil Defence Force for “acts of exceptional courage and skill” or “conspicuous devotion to duty in circumstances of extreme danger”, according to PMO.
As President, Madam Halimah approved the government’s draws on past reserves during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was known for championing women’s issues among other social causes.
She announced in May that she would not be seeking a second term by contesting the 2023 Presidential Election on Sept 1, which was won by Mr Tharman. CNA
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