Doctor and healthcare facility he co-founded win ST award

This article is more than 12 months old

A general practitioner and the healthcare charity he co-founded won The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award for 2017.

Dr Goh Wei Leong and HealthServe, which provides migrant workers with affordable healthcare, beat nine other finalists to the award yesterday.

Sponsored by UBS Singapore and in its third year, the award honours Singaporeans who put the country on the world map, persevered through adversity or made the community a better place through selfless acts.

HealthServe was founded in 2006 by Dr Goh and businessman Tang Shin Yong.

It has dental and medical clinics in Geylang, Mandai and Jurong, and it also offers social assistance, skills training and a food programme.

President Halimah Yacob presented Dr Goh and HealthServe with a cash prize of $20,000 and a trophy yesterday.

Said Dr Goh: "I am thrilled, surprised, really humbled. Getting to know the other finalists personally has been the highlight for us today."

Said Madam Halimah of Dr Goh and his team: "They are a truly deserving recipient.

"They have been doing this for a very long time, with all that passion... it is not easy to sustain that kind of contribution.

She added that the award "brings the best out of Singaporeans".

The nine other finalists, who each got $5,000, are: film-maker Kirsten Tan; conductor Wong Kah Chun; cartoonist Sonny Liew; para-athlete Jason Chee; indoor skydiver Kyra Poh; student Muhammad Luqman Abdul Rahman; lawyer Satwant Singh; martial arts instructor Qin Yunquan; and emergency responders Mohamad Fuad Abdul Aziz and Syed Abdillah Alhabshee.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, said in his speech: "By uncovering their stories and shining a spotlight on their efforts, we, at The Straits Times, hope to celebrate them and uphold the values they represent as a reflection of the kind of society we would like to see in Singapore."

He added that many Singaporeans today "want ours to be a society known for our compassion and care".- ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RAHIMAH RASHITH