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A Note of Thanks to our Public Servants

Dear Public Servants of Singapore,

I have had the privilege of working with many of you during my time in the government, and I consider many of you friends. I know that helping the country navigate through Covid-19 has been some of the most back-breaking work anyone could have ever undertaken in their careers. Some of you had to consider a multitude of factors, opinions and possible impact on affected people as you try to draft new legislation to protect our most vulnerable; while others worked on ramping up Covid-testing facilities, making sure the process is dependable and accurate at scale. These are just two of the millions of different duties undertaken by our public service, and you have been working so hard, above and beyond a reasonable call to duty.

I found it really hard to read the announcement that civil servants would receive no bonus this year. I understand the policy and its intent: that civil servants have their pay tied to the economic performance of the nation, and in this time where many Singaporeans suffer economic losses, it is not a time to financially reward civil servants.

But I just wanted to say thanks. It’s not worth much, I know. It won’t put your child through school, or pay for your groceries. Thank you for working so diligently to keep us safe. That we have vegetables and eggs in the supermarket; or good internet access for our work calls; or adequate financial support to keep many small businesses alive. I’m not taking any of these for granted. None of us should. It is the result of the hard work our public servants have put in.

The list goes on and on: whether in healthcare where our sick are taken care of, or how our educators have had to pivot almost immediately to teach online, this generation of public servants have proven, and continue to prove that excellence is the hallmark of Singapore’s public service.

As a Singaporean son, husband and father, thank you so much for all that you do.