Singaporean co-operators honoured in co-op awards

Over 30 co-operators were honoured in the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) Honours Awards 2013 on 19 January.

Over 30 co-operators were honoured in the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) Honours Awards 2013 on 19 January.

Seven esteemed figures, including former Singapore President S R Nathan and the late Singapore President CV Devan Nair were celebrated for their contributions to the growth of the Singapore Co-operative Movement.

Mr Chan Tee Seng, Chairman of SNCF, said: “Without their support, vision and leadership through the decades, the Co-operative Movement would not have thrived and achieved a reach as wide today.”

Other 22 co-operators and co-operatives were also recognised from sectors such as finance, education, retail and social welfare.

NTUC FairPrice Co-operative, who received the Rochdale Plaque in 1998, was given the Special Rochdale Award, a new category nominated by SNCF to recognise the work that NTUC FairPrice has consistently accomplished in the last 15 years.

Another new category created was the Special Commendation Medal, given to individual co-operators for their outstanding body of work and contribution towards the Singapore Co-operative Movement.

The Co-operative Champion award, specially created for individuals who championed the co-operative missions, honoured Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC and NTUC FairPrice Chief Executive Officer, Seah Kian Peng, immediate past Secretary-General of NTUC and current Singapore Labour Foundation Deputy Chairman, Lim Boon Heng, former Minister of State for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, who also served as Chairman of the SNCF Board of Trustees, Chairman of Central Co-operative Fund and former Chairman of NTUC FairPrice, S Chandra Das and Chairman of Seacare Co-operative Limited Leow Ching Chuan.

The SNCF have also been supporting the Co-operative Movement in other areas. This includes awarding scholarships to three young individuals chosen from 150 applicants. They are: Li Mengzhu, 20, Joan Loh, 19 and Koh Wei Meng, 21.

SNCF are also launching a new Grant Framework under the Central Co-operative Fund to address the specific needs of co-operatives and to assits them with their growth and development.

The Grants can be used to set up co-ops or for existing co-ops to improve their productivity and services.

“The aim is to provide them with practical social entrepreneurial experience and provoke their sense of social mindedness. We have received very good support from the schools. We are working together with the Registry of Co-operative Societies to simplify the setup of co-operatives or form co-operative clubs in secondary schools to enable more young social entrepreneurs to use their passion and creativity to address social needs as part of character building;” said Mr Chan.

The Singapore Co-operative Movement celebrated the International Year of Co-operatives through a series of events including: Co-opaliciouz, the largest gathering of Singapore’s Co-op Movement in history and releasing a set of legal tender co-operatives stamps.

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