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Changi Airport Group launches Book Prize in honour of Mr Howe Yoon Chong

Press Release   •   Jul 18, 2012 18:18 +08

In memory and honour of Mr Howe Yoon Chong’s contributions to Changi Airport, Changi Airport Group (CAG) has introduced the CAG-Howe Yoon Chong (CAG-HYC) Book Prize, a support programme under the Changi Foundation. 

As Chairman of the Special Committee on Airport Development back in 1975, Mr Howe Yoon Chong played a pivotal role in the development of Changi Airport, and the airport would not be what it is today without his fortitude and foresight.  Rather than expanding the then Paya Lebar Airport with a second runway, Mr Howe supported the building of a new airport at Changi despite knowing the magnitude and challenges of developing a large international airport from scratch.  He led a team to reclaim the land at Changi and built the terminal.  The new airport began operations, on schedule, on 1 July 1981.

Celebrating determination and courage

The CAG-HYC Book Prize celebrates Mr Howe’s spirit of determination and courage and will be awarded bond-free to youths-at-risk who display the same character, taking into their stride their background and circumstance to succeed and triumph.  Recipients will be able to use their book prizes to continue their pursuit of formal education in polytechnics or Institutes of Technical Education. 

The Changi Foundation recognises that academic results are not the only important component in the youths’ lives and seeks to recognise students who have also shown improvement in their character development.  Hence, in addition to book prizes, CAG will also be awarding bursaries to students who have shown positive change in their attitude and improvement in their academic results, so as to provide them with financial aid to continue schooling.

At the official ceremony to mark the completion of the Changi Airport Terminal 1 upgrading works today, Mr Liew Mun Leong, Chairman of CAG, and Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of CAG, presented a cheque of S$200,000 for book prizes and bursaries to be awarded to the students and youths of four Changi Foundation beneficiaries, namely Assumption Pathway School, CARE Singapore, NorthLight School and Students Care Service.  Together, the book prizes and bursaries will benefit about 300 individuals every year.

The cheque presentation was witnessed by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Finance and Transport, and the wife and daughter of the late Mr Howe Yoon Chong.

Honouring a Changi pioneer

Mr Lee Seow Hiang said, “Changi Airport Terminal 1 was officially opened by Mr Howe in 1981 when he was Minister for Defence.  Mr Howe set the mandate for Changi Airport to surpass benchmarks through pioneering innovations which laid the framework for Changi to becoming one of the best airports in the world.  This continues to be the guiding principle of Changi’s operations today.

“As we mark the completion of the upgrading for T1, we fondly remember Mr Howe, a pioneer of Changi, for his spirit of true grit in surmounting difficult and challenging circumstances.  Despite the views of experts, Mr Howe determined that Changi Airport was doable within the timeframe set.  As it turned out, his assessment proved to be an astute and accurate one.

“Through the CAG-Howe Yoon Chong Book Prize, we honour Mr Howe’s legacy, which we hope will serve as inspiration and motivation to our youths today, and at the same time encourage them to remain steadfast and resilient when faced with challenges.”

About Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009.  As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.

Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport's four terminals.  Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record.  Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide.  A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.