Published on 07 Dec 2022

Double Celebration for the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration and Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship

25 November 2022 is a night to remember as Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) celebrates its 30th Anniversary of Development & Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship’s (LYCLF) 15th  Anniversary. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat graced the event as the Guest of Honour. The other distinguished guests included Minister of State, Prime Minister Office Mr Desmond Tan, Chief Executive Officer of National Heritage Board Ms Chang Hwee Nee,  Ambassadors and representatives from China, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, and France. In addition, the NTU senior management team included BOT members Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Mr Goh Sin Teck, Provost and Deputy President Prof Ling San, Senior Vice President(Research) Prof Lam Khin Yong, Senior Vice President(Administration) Ms Tan Aik Na and Vice President Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, Prof Tim White, President Emeritue Prof Su Guaning, NTU community, corporate partners and donors, alumni, and current students also joined in celebrating this significant milestone.

In his keynote speech, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat commended NCPA for coming a long way in building bridges between China and Singapore over the last 30 years, serving as a virtual node for China to understand Singapore and the region and for the area to have a better appreciation of China. Mr Heng noted the progress of NCPA and LYCLF over the decades, especially the NCPA’s “Mayors’ Class” programmes, which started as the first training programme for government officials from China 30 years ago. He urged the NCPA to progress to maintain relevance and grow its contributions. He also called on the institution to innovate its offerings and design programmes to facilitate interactions across nationalities and cultures. In addition, LYCLF was launched in 2007 to strengthen Singapore-China bilateral relations through its Distinguished Fellowship and Fellowship programmes.

Since its humble beginnings, NCPA has grown to establish. A strong foothold as a renowned institution of education and research on public governance in China, ASEAN, and beyond. The number of graduates from the “Mayors’ Class” programmes has reached 1,700. Today, NCPA is the proud alma mater of more than 20,000 government officials, corporate leaders, and professionals worldwide. Many have become influential decision-makers in the public sector and business enterprises.

 The Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship, established in 2007 by the Lien Foundation, is a platform for outstanding government officials, professionals, and academics from Singapore and China to gain valuable insights from one another on public administration, corporate governance, and management.

The world today is more fractured and inward-looking, marked by tension between the big powers. As a result, countries have turned towards strengthening resilience and mitigating the risks of external shocks, said Mr Heng. “But we must remember that the stressors that societies are confronting – like climate change, aging populations, and the fourth industrial revolution – are common and global in nature,” he added. “The case for collaboration and cooperation is stronger than ever.” He said this provides renewed encouragement to restore existing bridges and build new ones to tackle urgent global challenges like climate change and economic transformation. Just as the world needs a boost to revive cooperation and build new bridges, NCPA must also progress with the times to maintain its relevance and grow its contributions, said Mr Heng.

First, it must continuously innovate to make its offerings relevant and valuable to its stakeholders. It must give its graduates a firm grasp of critical global issues, such as digitalisation, Industry 4.0, and climate change.   NCPA should also tie its research more closely to essential topics on the policy agenda and actively contribute to the thinking and implementation process in areas such as those identified by the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation between Singapore and China. The Lien Fellows could also be tapped to build up NCPA’s think-tank functions. Second, NCPA should grow new roots in Asia and the region, even as it deepens its ties with China. While it has been a bridge between China and Singapore, this role must be expanded to include programmes to facilitate interactions across nationalities and cultures to connect a more fractious world. Third, it must find fresh ways to activate its 20,000-strong network of alumni and fellows to help grow new bridges to connect China, the region, and the world.

LIEN Gala Dinner 2022-131
Over the past decade, NCPA has gradually expanded the reach of its executive education programmes from China to all Southeast Asian countries and beyond. NCPA has accumulated rich experience in its thirty years of development. Its programmes are now well received and recognised in Singapore, China and ASEAN. NTU will continue to support NCPA to create impact through its programmes and partnerships, Provost and Deputy President Prof Ling San said.

Calling the relationship between Singapore and China an “exemplary one,” Chinese Ambassador to Singapore, Her Excellency Sun Haiyan said at the dinner that it is essential “to compete and cooperate with the competent and progress together.” “Under the strong leadership of our leaders over the decades, China and Singapore have been advancing cooperation at all levels based on mutual respect and win-win outcomes,” she said, adding that NCPA’s programmes best illustrate this, stating that homecoming graduates have benefitted enormously from mutual learning and this has bridged the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The highlight of the gala dinner was the launch of the commemorative publication of the 30th anniversary of NCPA and the 15th anniversary of the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship – Shaping the Future. The launch was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Professor Ling San, Deputy President, and Provost, NTU Singapore,  Dr Vincent Lien, Lien Fellowship Council member, Professor Joseph Liow, Dean, College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, NTU Singapore, and Professor Liu Hong, Director of NCPA, NTU Singapore.

The local media publicized the gala dinner on various platforms. On behalf of NCPA & LCYLF,  Professor Liu Hong, Director of NCPA, NTU Singapore, expressed his gratitude to all who have supported the centre, including donors, partners, the NTU community, faculty members, alumni, students, and friends. The year of double celebration is also a starting point as NCPA and the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship embark on a new journey toward a better future. 


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