SINGAPORE: Former President Halimah Yacob has received yet another top award, this time from the Singapore Scout Association, which conferred upon her its highest honour, the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.

The Scout Association of Singapore presented the award to Halimah at a specially organized event on Saturday (25 Nov) to thank her for supporting the local scouting movement. About 150 Cub Scouts performed a series of skits and dances at the event. The Scout Association said Madam Halimah served as Chief Scout from 2017 to 2023 and has been a pillar of the scouting movement and an inspirational force who has motivated countless Scouts and young people to contribute to the community.

Raymond Chia, the President of the Scout Association, presented Madam Halimah with the Distinguished Service Gold Medal. As a token of appreciation, Madam Halimah was also presented with a unique photo mosaic featuring her official portrait, composed of 1000 individual portraits of Scouts spanning various age groups.

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Last month, the former President was awarded the Order of Temasek (With High Distinction), the highest civilian honour in Singapore, presented to her by her successor, President Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The former President was lauded as a “trailblazer for women,” “a powerful symbol of unity”, and Singapore’s “first crisis President” as she was conferred the award.

Madam Halimah is a former governing party MP and Speaker of Parliament who resigned from politics to contest the presidential election in 2017. Despite interest from two prospective candidates from the private sector, she was declared the only eligible presidential candidate in September 2017 and became President of Singapore.

Madam Halimah declined to contest the 2023 election, and her former colleague, Senior Minister Tharman, retired from politics to throw his hat into the ring. He became the head of state, winning over 70 per cent of the votes in the presidential election on Sept 1 this year.

Looking back on her term earlier this year, Madam Halimah told The Straits Times that she expected controversy when she considered contesting the first election. She said, “Public office is never a walk in the park, is it? You have to expect to be scrutinised, to be criticised, to be questioned…So I expected that, and it happened… but you just stay focused.”