Old Guard leader and the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) first Organising Secretary Ong Pang Boon was conferred the Distinguished Service Medal at PAP’s Awards and Convention this year.
Comrade Ong played a crucial role in supporting the Party in the early days. His political career began as a volunteer to the late founding prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew for Tanjong Pagar then, as an election agent for the 1955 Legislative Assembly elections.
As Organising Secretary, other than handling the administrative matters for the Party, he was was also the bridge that linked non-communist English educated PAP leaders with the Chinese-speaking masses.
When Comrade Ong was the Education Minister, he actively promoted second language and in 1968, he announced it as a compulsory subject for Cambridge School Certificate Examination for the following year. A fact not known to many is that Mr Ong was also the person behind the idea of a national pledge, meant to be recited by students to nurture national consciousness and patriotism.
In his speech, Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong said, “It is a privilege to thank Comrade Ong again for his sterling service to the PAP, and to Singapore.”
Comrade Ong believed in PAP’s vision of an independent and multiracial nation, with a fair and just society. His dedication to the Party and to Singapore is evident in his contributions since the beginning of his political journey.