This year, NTUC will be conferring the Distinguished Service Award to Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat at its May Day Awards.
The Distinguished Service Award is NTUC’s highest accolade conferred by NTUC.
Every year, NTUC would honour individuals and organisations at its May Day Awards who are deemed to have contributed significantly to good labour-management relations. It is now headed by Ng Chee Meng, the PAP candidate and ex-SAF General who lost in last year’s GE.
Mr Chee is said to have been a strong advocate for the protection of healthcare and public transport workers against abuse by members of public.
In a speech in Parliament last Oct, Mr Chee warned members of the public not to abuse public transport workers. Those who do it will face the full force of the law, he said. The punishment can include up to three years in jail if convicted.
“What we need is to take a clear stand. The Government, unions, public transport operators, and I would say the great majority of Singaporeans are united in taking a zero-tolerance approach towards such abusive behaviors,” he said in Parliament.
Cases of abuse of bus drivers by commuters risen especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when the drivers told commuters to put on their mask.
Over the years, Mr Chee is also said to have worked with the leaders of Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU) to ensure that the well-being of healthcare workers are taken care of.
Upon receiving the good news of getting the Distinguished Service Award from NTUC, Mr Chee told the media that he looks forward to “continue working closely with brothers and sisters in the labour movement to improve the lives of our workers”.
He added that the tripartite partnership has been “a source of pride and competitive advantage” for Singapore.
“Because our tripartite partners trust one another, we are able to create a pro-business, pro-worker environment which is trusted by overseas investors and customers,” he said.
“This is important when the seas are calm, but it is even more critical when we are sailing in rough waters to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and to build back stronger after the crisis.”