SINGAPORE, 15 DECEMBER 2020 – 80 inmates achieved the National Youth Achievement Award
(NYAA) Gold Award this year – the largest number of inmate participants to receive the highest honour
in NYAA’s 20-year history with the Singapore Prison Service (SPS).
2. In total, 131 inmates completed the NYAA programme this year, which shows their
commitment to serve the community and strive for personal development while serving their
sentence. 57 inmates (among them 48 NYAA Gold awardees) received their award in person at the
NYAA ceremony today. The ceremony was held across participating prison institutional clusters, with
families of the awardees observing the ceremony virtually through simultaneous live broadcasts at
SPS’s visitor centres. President Halimah Yacob, who was the Guest-of-Honour for this year’s ceremony,
attended the ceremony at Institution Tanah Merah 1 and was accompanied by Associate Professor
Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development. The other
NYAA awardees, who had been released prior to the ceremony or were unable to attend the ceremony,
will be receiving their award at a separate occasion after the ceremony.
3. In her speech, President Halimah Yacob commended the awardees for demonstrating their
motivation to change and willingness to contribute to their community. She said: “This year marks a
key milestone, as we celebrate the 20th year of NYAA in Prisons. To each one of you who embarked
on your NYAA journey, you can be proud of yourselves for making this effort to change. Your NYAA
experience will stand you in good stead, and I look forward to you making a positive impact on our
4. The NYAA programme was first introduced in prison for inmates aged between 16 and 25. This
year, the age limit for NYAA was increased to 30, which allowed more inmates from across the
different prison institutions to benefit from the programme. More than 2,000 inmates have completed
the NYAA programme across five prison institutions since the NYAA programme started in SPS.
5. This year, for the first time, an Honorary NYAA Gold Award was presented to legal practitioner
Mr Darren Tan, a distinguished alumnus of the NYAA programme. Mr Tan, who received the Bronze
and Silver awards during his incarceration, has gone on to serve the community by supporting
marginalised groups and at-risk youths. He is now the Director of Invictus Law Corporation, Director
of non-profit organisation Tasek Jurong Limited and co-founder of the Beacon of Life Academy.
6. “I am deeply honoured to be receiving the inaugural Honorary NYAA Gold Award. The values
that I gained from the NYAA programme almost two decades ago continue to serve me well even
today – the spirit of excellence, resilience, and most of all, to be of service to others. These are values
that will no doubt be passed on to each succeeding generation of youths through the NYAA
programme,” said Mr Tan.
7. In line with this year’s theme, “Dare 2 Explore, Lead 0ur Dreams, Strive 2 Succeed, Better 0ur
Society”, NYAA participants initiated several outreach projects even in the midst of the nation’s battle
against the COVID-19 pandemic. This included developing posters about the virus that were used
within prison institutions to educate fellow inmates, and making personalised cards to show their
appreciation to our frontline healthcare workers.
8. “The optimism shown by our NYAA participants, and thinking creatively to achieve their goals,
while keeping up morale both within and beyond the prison walls, is remarkable,” said SUPT Angeline
Chua, chairperson of the NYAA Ceremony 2020 organising committee. “We are proud to journey with
our inmates to develop these traits further, in the hope that the skills and knowledge acquired through
the programme will help them make the right decisions in life, stay crime-free and give back to the
community in the future.”
9. “We are very encouraged to witness the transformation of inmates when they complete their
NYAA journey. They have found a new purpose in life and are serving the community with their talents
and skills after their release and have integrated well into the mainstream society,” said Mr James Soh,
Executive Director of the National Youth Achievement Award Council.