Singapore, 4 October 2017 - Mr Abu Bakar Mohd Nor, Managing Director (Gas & Specialised Vessels), Keppel Offshore & Marine was presented the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year 2017 award by President Halimah Yacob this evening at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel.
He was conferred the prestigious award for his exceptional professional achievements and his contributions serving in external organisations.
The annual awards, organised by Singapore Press Holdings’ Malay daily, Berita Harian, honour Malay/Muslim individuals for their achievements in their chosen field, be it education, business, arts and culture, sports, or social work. Into its 19th year, the qualities that the judging panel looks for include perseverance, determination, integrity and the ability to overcome odds. Above all, the winner will serve as a role model for the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore.
This year's Berita Harian Achiever of the Year award is presented by Courts Singapore.
Armed with a diploma from Singapore Polytechnic when he began his career at Keppel Shipyard as an assistant safety officer, Abu Bakar has scaled far in a career in the offshore and marine sector for about three decades. During Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech in 2014, he was hailed as an example of how individuals can succeed in their own fields even though they did not have a degree.
He rose through the ranks, holding various appointments in the Operations and Commercial departments prior to being appointed as CEO of Keppel’s joint-venture shipyard in Qatar, Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) in 2011.
He also sits on various boards in the Keppel Group of companies and associates such as Keppel Shipyard Limited, Arab Heavy Industries PJSC, Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd, Keppel Sea Scan Pte Ltd, Green Scan Pte Ltd, Marine Technology Development Pte Ltd, Keppel FELS Limited and Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre Pte Ltd.
Abu Bakar was sponsored to attend the Singapore Management University and graduated with a Master of Business Administration in June 2013. Even though candidates are required to have a university degree to participate in the program and he did not have one, the former CEO of Keppel Corp, Mr Choo Chiau Beng, wrote a letter to SMU vouching for his experience and capabilities. SMU accepted him into the program and Abu Bakar did well on the course.
In spite of his heavy work commitments, Abu Bakar has always been a committed National Serviceman (NSman). Even while working in the Middle East when he was CEO of N-KOM, he would take a 7-hour flight to Singapore each month so that he could attend meetings with his men at the 27th Singapore Infantry Brigade (SIB), where he served as Brigade Commander.
Promoted to the rank of Colonel in 2014, Abu Bakar also served on various committees in Ministry of Defence as a Member of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence, Reward and Recognition Committee for Defence, and was a Member of the SAFRA Management Committee, where he chaired various SAFRA Clubs as Chairman and Vice-Chairman. He was also the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to both Mr Ong Teng Cheong and Mr S R Nathan during their tenure as the President of Singapore.
In recognition of his contributions to the SAF and community, he received the Formation NSmen of the Year Award in 1998 and the SAF NSmen of the Year Award in 1999. He was also awarded the Commendation Medal (Military) in 2002, the Public Service Medal (Pingat Bakti Masyarakat) in 2009, and the Public Administration Medal Bronze (Military) in 2015.
Currently, Abu Bakar is serving as Chief of Staff of 2nd People's Defence Force (2PDF).
Mr Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman, Editor of Berita Harian, said: “We are pleased to present the BH Achiever of the Year 2017 award to Mr Abu Bakar Mohd Nor. His perseverance, dedication and discipline towards the development of his professional career and National Service commitments are both noble and inspiring, making him a worthy winner. On behalf of the judging panel and all at BH, we congratulate him for his outstanding achievements and serving as a role model to the Malay community.”
Ms Nur Yusrina Ya’akob is the recipient of the Young Achiever Award. She is the first Malay/Muslim woman from Singapore to reach the world’s highest summit at 8,848m in May 2017. Yusrina, 30, was part of a Mount Everest expedition in 2015 that had to abort their climb following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal. But she was not to be denied her dream the second time round, being the only one out of a three-person team to reach the peak.
Mr Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman, Editor of Berita Harian, said: “Ms Nur Yusrina Ya’akob has displayed tenacity and fearlessness in the face of difficult physical conditions to reach the peak of Mt Everest. She is a deserving recipient of the Young Achiever Award 2017.”
The Young Achiever Award recipient receives a $5,000 cash sponsorship from academic institution MDIS. MDIS has been a sponsor of this award since 2013.
Dr R. Theyvendran, MDIS Secretary-General said: “Being the first Singaporean Malay woman to conquer Mount Everest, Ms Nur Yusrina Ya'akob has shown great tenacity in fulfilling her dreams. It is very heartening to know of a young person who rose above challenges she faced and excel in her chosen field.
Contributing to the Berita Harian Young Achiever of the Year award is our way of showing our recognition to this deserving young person, and we hope that she will continue to achieve greater success in her life and be an inspiration to others.
Being the oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning in Singapore, we believe that young people are our future leaders, and it is important to do our best to nurture, motivate and encourage them to realise their fullest potential. Ms Yusrina best exemplifies that she has the right values in order to become successful in both her career and personal life.”
In conjunction with Berita Harian’s 60th anniversary this year, two Lifetime Achiever Award recipients and four Business Achiever Award recipients are also honoured. These awards are presented to the recipients in recognition of their contributions and achievements in their chosen fields.
The six award recipients are -
Lifetime Achiever Award
•Mr Ramli Sarip (Performer, Composer, Lyricist and Recording Producer)
•Mr Fandi Ahmad (Singapore’s football star)
Business Achiever Award
•Mr Ismail Gafoor (CEO, PropNex Realty)
•Mr Mohamed Abdul Jaleel (CEO, MES Group)
•Ms Jummaida Rusdon (CEO, Busy Bees Asia)
•Mr Suhaimi Salleh (CEO, SSA Consulting Group)
Mr Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman, Editor of Berita Harian, said: “These six exemplary individuals stood out for their contributions and achievements which have come about through passion, sheer hard work and determination. In their own distinctive style, they are trailblazers who have excelled in their respective fields. We extend our warmest congratulations to them!”
Mr Ismail Gafoor, CEO, Propnex Realty said: “I feel truly honoured to be awarded with the inaugural “Berita Harian Business Achiever Award” and for having my entrepreneurship journey of 20 years recognised by the esteemed judges. PropNex Realty’s roots started from Nooris Consultants where we received strong support by the Malay Muslim community at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. Today, it has evolved to PropNex Realty, Singapore’s largest real estate agency with close to 7,000 salespersons. As a leading real estate agency, PropNex has tremendously touched the lives of people from all races, as we continue impacting the lives of the Malay Muslim community in their real estate journeys for both home stay and property investments. I truly believe that all awards and recognition are by products of anyone or a team of like-minded people working passionately with the belief of adding greater value to mankind and society. With that, I would like to thank all my partners, key support staff and salespersons who are indeed instrumental for my award today.”
Mr Mohamed Abdul Jaleel, Founder and CEO, MES Group said: “When we do well, we hope whatever assistance we can render and contribute to assist others in the larger picture of the well-being of our beloved Nation.”
Ms Jummaida Rusdon, CEO, Busy Bees Asia said: “While I’m honoured to receive this award as an individual, I am also thankful to the many pioneers who worked tirelessly alongside me to shape the industry to what it is today. Looking back at my journey, I feel privileged every single day of my life to have a career filled with compassion and love, like no other. Even though in the eighties, early childhood education wasn’t as illustrious as other professions, I knew this was what I wanted to do because this job was special, and came with rewards that may have been invisible to the eye but matter most to our hearts.
A smile from our children would make my hardest day better. So, I’ve dedicated thirty years of my life’s work to improving the lives of children – preparing them for the next thirty. I’ve also spent the same thirty years grooming and convincing the most talented young educators the importance of what we do, and inspiring them on what our jobs meant to our children, our society and our future. I’m glad that together, we left an impression in this industry.”
Mr Suhaimi Salleh, CEO, SSA Consulting Group said: “The introduction of the BH Business Achiever Award is a big step taken by Berita Harian to recognise Malay/Muslim business people in Singapore. It's not just a boost for the business community but more than that, the award emphasises the contributions of Malay/Muslim business people in empowering the economy and enhancing the community's achievement. As one of the winners of this inaugural award, I am very grateful and touched. It is a responsibility for me to continue progressing and motivate other entrepreneurs. For more than 30 years, I have gone through the challenges of the business world and also as a community activist. This achievement is not possible without the sacrifice of my family who understand my work as well as the contribution and support of my fellow workers.”
This year’s Achiever of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year and Lifetime Achiever winners were picked by a panel of four judges from the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore, co-chaired by Mr Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman and Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, former Speaker of Parliament. The other two judges were Dr Abdul Razakjr Omar (Jauhari winner 2013) and Mr Suhaimi Rafdi (Jauhari winner 2012).
This year's Business Achiever Award winners were picked by a panel of judges co-chaired by Mr Mohd Saat Abdul Rahman and Mr Alvin Tay, Managing Editor of English, Malay and Tamil Media Group (EMTM).
Past winners of the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award:
1999 - Dr Mansoor Abdul Jalil, lecturer with the Department of Electrical Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS)
2000 - Professor Aziz Nather, director at the Tissue Bank and consultant with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NUS
2001 - Madam Halimah Yacob, Assistant Secretary General of NTUC
2002 - Mr Iskandar Jalil, master potter
2003 - Mr Iskandar Mirza Ismail, veteran composer
2004 - Haji Abu Bakar Maidin, a veteran of social service
2005 - Mr Zulkifli Baharudin, Chairman of Mercy Relief
2006 - Mr Mardan Mamat, professional golfer
2007 - Mr Ashley Isham, fashion designer
2008 - Datuk Mohd Zain Abdullah, accomplished businessman in the shipping industry
2009 - Madam Som Binte Mohamed Said, cultural ambassador
2010 - Mr Shafie Shamsudin, Chief Executive Officer of Carrefour Indonesia
2011 - Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican, Chairman and Managing Director of SCP
2012 - Mr Suhaimi Rafdi, Chief Executive Officer, Cathay Organisation Holdings
2013 - Dr Abdul Razakjr Omar, Cardiologist
2014 - Religious Rehabilitation Group (the first time the Berita Harian Achiever Award was awarded to an organisation)
2015 – Mohammad Alami Musa, Head of Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme
2016 – Mdm Zuraidah Abdullah, Domain Commander (Air) Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Malay Heritage Foundation Chairperson
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About Berita Harian/Berita Minggu
A newspaper for the local Malay community, Berita Harian was established on July 1, 1957. It presents news and issues from home, the region and the world, featuring a wide spectrum of topics from sports to politics and religion. Other highlights include Malay culture and tradition, arts and heritage, family, hobbies and leisure.
Berita Harian also provides a platform for the Malay community to voice their views on issues which concern them. It is a paper that speaks with authority and understands the needs of the Malay community.
Berita Minggu, the Sunday edition of the Berita Harian, was first published on July 10, 1960 to focus on leisure and family-oriented stories related to the Malay community.
The newspaper goes beyond foreign and local news coverage to present articles on cooking and literature as well as the latest in entertainment, sports and reviews of TV and radio programme.
About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms, ranging from print, digital, radio and out-of-home media.
SPH owns award-winning newspapers, magazines and best-selling books in both print and digital editions, as well as online classifieds businesses in the region. In addition, SPH has two English radio stations and one Chinese radio station, an out-of-home digital advertising unit, a regional events and conferences arm, and runs a chain of modern retail convenience stores.
SPH REIT comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road and The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall. SPH's latest retail development is The Seletar Mall located in Sengkang.
SPH is in the healthcare sector, operating private nursing homes under Orange Valley.