Singapore’s well-known para-athlete, medical doctor and charity fundraiser, Dr William Tan, was presented with the Commonwealth Points of Light Award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today for his long history of charitable achievements. The award was presented by the British High Commissioner to Singapore, His Excellency Scott Wightman, during an awards evening held at his residence, Eden Hall, on 31st July.
Volunteers across the Commonwealth that have made an outstanding contribution or change to their community are being recognised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a Commonwealth Point of Light, with one volunteer from each Commonwealth country recognised before the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in London in April 2018, and one or two more from each country being recognised over the following two years after CHOGM. Dr William Tan is Singapore’s second Points of Light recipient, after Mr Jack Sim of the World Toilet Organisation, who was presented with his award in April.
Dr William Tan said "Having survived Stage 4 leukaemia, I practise medicine and race marathons very differently now. My bucket list is filled with marathon causes rather than marathon courses. I am very honoured to receive the Commonwealth Points of Light Award which certainly invigorates me to be a shining example and a light to the needs of humanity".
Scott Wightman, British High Commissioner to Singapore said: “William is not someone to let adversity stand in his way or detract him from his passion for helping others, be it the loss of the use of his legs as a small child or being told in 2009 that he had stage 4 leukaemia. He has raced wheelchair marathons on every continent, including Antarctica, set racing records and competed in the Paralympics and Commonwealth Games. William has though always been mindful of how he can use his life to help others, becoming a medical doctor, an inspirational speaker and raising millions of dollars for charities.
“William’s actions have challenged many people’s perceptions of disability. It was significant that the Leaders of the Commonwealth nations agreed to work towards creating societies that are fully inclusive of disabled people at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April of this year. William shows us why this is so important.”
Apart from that, the event also saw two other Singaporeans being awarded the UK government's prestigious Chevening Scholarship in Innovation.
Ms Jasmine Ang, an Innovation Manager and Senior Research Engineer at JTC Corporation, will study for an MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College London. Jasmine is passionate about innovation in the built environment and construction industry, and has spearheaded initiatives to develop safer, more productive and sustainable solutions for the sector. In 2015 Jasmine represented Singapore as a Leader of Tomorrow during the 45th St Gallen Symposium and she would like to inspire more women to join Science, Engineering and Research.
The other recipient is Mr Christopher Chok, a teacher from River Valley High School, who will study for an MA in Religion and Society at Durham University. Christopher has a long standing interest in inter-faith dialogue, including collaborating with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation on interfaith dialogue in Kosovo.