Eligibility & Selection Criteria for National Day Nominations

Anthea Indira Ong
3 min readSep 3, 2019


Parliamentary Question, 2 Sep 2019


Ms Anthea Ong asked the Prime Minister (a) what is the eligibility and selection criteria for nominations for National Day Awards; (b) who can nominate and what is the end-to-end award process; © whether there is a fixed number of awards given out for each category every year and, if yes, what are they; and (d) what is the total number of awards given to grassroots leaders every year.

Mr Chan Chun Sing (for the Prime Minister): The eligibility criteria for National Day Awards are governed by the various gazetted medal rules. Individuals who have rendered outstanding public service or distinguished themselves in the field of arts and letters, sports, the sciences, business, the professions and the labour movement are eligible for National Day Awards. We also have awards that recognise public and military officers for gallantry, distinguished service or long service. The type of award which individuals may be eligible for depends on their achievements, contributions and service.

Every year, the Prime Minister’s Office invites nominations from the public and non-public sector through Ministries, Organs of State and Advisors of Grassroots Organisations. The nominations are then evaluated by various committees. The final shortlist is submitted for the President’s approval.

The medal rules do not cap the number of awards except for the Medal of Honour, which is limited to four in any one year, the Certificate of Honour which is limited to six in any one year and the Order of Temasek (With High Distinction) which is limited to 12 recipients. Notwithstanding this, to ensure the prestige of the other awards and that only the most deserving are awarded, we cap the number that agencies can put up where practical. The caps vary depending on the pool of eligible candidates and the awards.

The total number of awards given to grassroots leaders ranged from 189 to 191 between 2016 and 2019.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)

The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities. She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and volunteerism in Parliament.

She is also an impact entrepreneur/investor and a passionate mental health advocate, especially in workplace wellbeing. She started WorkWell Leaders Workgroup in May 2018 to bring together top leaders (CXOs, Heads of HR/CSR/D&I) of top employers in Singapore (both public and private) to share, discuss and co-create inclusive practices to promote workplace wellbeing. Anthea is also the founder of Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar and a social movement that aims to bring silence, self care and social inclusion into every workplace, every community — with a cup of tea. The Hush Experience is completely led by lovingly-trained Deaf facilitators, supported by a team of Persons with Mental Health Issues (PMHIs).

Follow Anthea Ong on her public page at www.facebook.com/antheaonglaytheng