Honour Singapore Seeking the Well-Being of the Nation
Chairman’s Letter: April 2015
Mr Lim Siong Guan Dear Donors and Friends of Honour (Singapore),

It has been slightly more than six months since the launch of Honour (Singapore) last August. We have been actively working on how we should pursue our mission, which is to promote a culture of honour and honouring for the well-being of Singapore.

Honour is a foundational virtue for the betterment of Singapore and the creation of a good future for the generations to come. We are enormously grateful for your support as we seek to do what is good and right for our fellow citizens and our country.

This is the first of what I propose to be a quarterly letter to:

Keep you informed of what we are up to
Welcome your suggestions as to how we can do better, and
Invite you to partner us in this endeavour
Honouring Mr Lee Kuan Yew
It is fitting that we first honour Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who passed on on 23 March 2015. Mr Lee personified an absolute commitment to integrity, delivering on whatever promise he made, refusing to promise what he could not deliver, and honouring his word with action. Mr Lee brought Singapore through the momentous years first of internal self-government in 1959, then merger into Malaysia in 1963, then separation from Malaysia in 1965, then establishing Singapore in the community of nations as a country both independent and sovereign, assuring both its survival and success. Under Mr Lee’s leadership, Singapore, with a land area just 60 percent that of New York City, became a leading light of trustworthiness and incorruptibility, where her people work hard and strive for excellence, and whose brand image is that of quality, reliability and dependability. May we honour Mr Lee by ensuring that his spirit of honour and integrity lives on and will never be compromised. Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Definition Of Honour
Honour (Singapore) adopts a dual definition of honour to undergird our efforts:

Honouring our Word
Honouring Others

By Honouring our Word, we are committed to be a people who are

Reliable and dependable
Prepared to work hard at delivering on our promises with quality and excellence

Trust is the foundation of Honour, and makes for secure long-term relationships within the family, business, community, and nation.

By Honouring Others, we seek to understand the views and perspectives of others, even though they may be quite different from ours. We believe a sound way to decide what is good and right for the future is to ask ourselves whether what is proposed is good not just for us today but for the coming generations of Singaporeans.
There are two basic approaches we could be taking. One is to conduct programmes and activities, and invite companies and other organisations to attend in the hope that they would take up some of the ideas and implement them. The second is to take a partnership approach, where we reach out to companies and other organizations and ask if they would like us to work with them on their own programmes, to inject the ideas of Honour in the belief that this would do good for their people as well as their business. We have decided to take the second approach, as this will keep the programmes as those of the companies and organizations.

Promoting Honour involves a cultural and mindset change, and what we will do is to help companies and organizations infuse the virtue of Honour into their own training and development programmes.

Honour (Singapore) will run programmes in its own name only in a limited number of cases.
Winning Throgh Honour
Our basic message is that of Winning Through Honour. Everyone wants to win, but we must win in the right way for the right purpose. Everyone wants to succeed, and success is what creates the highest order of morale and motivation as it boosts self-confidence.

Honour is an important factor for businesses to win

Honour attracts and enables long-term business partnerships and customers. A reputation for good work, quality, reliability, dependability, excellence and trustworthiness spreads by word of mouth and yields repeat customers, new customers, and long-term business opportunities.

Honour also enhances the chances to win at work. Bosses are all the time looking out for people who can be trusted to get the job done, and to get it done well.

Honour is critical for stable homes and happy families

The Chinese have a saying 三岁定终身 (san sui ding zhong shen), which means looking at a child at the age of three, we can know what he will be like for the rest of his life. Teaching the child Honour for life is a “cradle to heaven” proposition.

The best conditions are set to build up the sense of security and the self-esteem of children when

Parents do what they can to create the best futures for their children
Children are proud of their parents
Siblings care for each other
Good and sound values are taught and promoted at home before the children even begin to attend school

Honour is important for racial, religious and community harmony, and a stable, secure society

In a recent article published in the Straits Times on 13 March 2015 entitled “The importance of social norms” by author David Brooks, a New York Times’ columnist, Brooks makes the following points:

The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens.
Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary.
Next it will require holding people responsible.
It also requires holding everybody responsible.

Brooks was no doubt writing in an American context, but these are good lessons for Singapore as well.
Honour (Singapore) will reach out to businesses and organizations, schools and educational institutions, as well as religious and community groups, to partner them if we can be helpful in enhancing their own programmes for their own people.

CEO Forum: We gathered a few CEOs of companies in March and we spoke about why Honour is good for business, for work, for home, and for life.

We invited the CEOs who attended to provide their views on how they could infuse Honour into their own plans and programmes. Our hope is to develop ideas, lessons, and practices that can then be shared in communities of practitioners.

If you are a CEO and would like to attend one of our CEO meetings in future, please drop me a line at LimSiongGuan@honour.sg to express your interest.

Civil Society Leaders: We are meeting a group of civil society leaders in April to speak about the value of Honour for the future of Singapore, and find out how they see society being shaped for the good of coming generations of Singaporeans.

Short Films on “Honouring the Invisible People”: We are working with small teams of people who are producing short films with positive messages for life and living, for which Honour is an important element. We will be focusing on the theme of “Honouring the Invisible People” – these are people who play an important part in making our lives comfortable and convenient, but who we often do not notice, much less express our appreciation and gratitude for what they do. Through these short films, we seek to honour “invisible people” in our midst such as our bus and taxi drivers, office receptionists, security guards, “office aunties”, domestic helpers, nurses, teachers, etc.

Talks: I continue to speak to a broad spectrum of audiences on Honour and Leadership at:

Schools that are concerned about how best to prepare the young of Singapore for their future
Companies that are concerned about future business, leadership, and productive workers
Hospitals that seek to do good for their patients, both current and future
Military officers who seek to motivate their soldiers to assure the safety and security of Singapore

Honour Champions and Honour Ambassadors: What we need going forward are Honour Champions and Honour Ambassadors.

Honour Champions are those who believe in Honour as a critical virtue for life and business, with whom we are happy to collaborate where we can.

Honour Ambassadors are those who will speak out and advocate Honour for our society and nation.
In Closing
Honour (Singapore) has to start small and build a good foundation. We are only a small group of people who are humbly aware of what we can expect to accomplish, yet who are convinced that this is a message for life, which must be passed on.

Thank you again for your encouragement and support. I would be very happy to hear from you what more and what better we should do.

Lim Siong Guan
Honour (Singapore)

Click here to hear the views of Ms Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings and Panel Member of Honour (Singapore), on the importance of Honour.
Click To Watch Video
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