The Singapore Public Service has played a key role in Singapore's nation-building journey, working closely with the political leadership and Singaporeans, to overcome challenges and make Singapore a better home for all Singaporeans.

Heart of Public Service appropriately consists of two inter-linked volumes. ‘Our Institutions' traces how key Public Service institutions helped Singapore progress from Third World to First in less than 50 years. 'Our People' tells 50 stories of public officers - a sampling of the many more who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to give life to the policies and programmes that have brought us forward together, and who provide the human touch that has made a difference to the lives of so many Singaporeans.

Indeed, our 141,000 officers in 16 ministries and more than 50 statutory boards are at the Heart of the Singapore Public Service. I have worked with and met many of our public officers over the years - putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and secure, building not just houses but our homes, knocking on doors overseas to open new opportunities for us, helping to move people and goods smoothly, keeping Singapore beautiful and green, bringing a compassionate and healing touch when we are in need, educating our children to be ready for the future.

Our public officers do their best and serve with dedication and passion, guided by the values of Integrity, Service and Excellence. l have seen how our public officers derive satisfaction and happiness from helping Singaporeans to improve their lives, sharing in their happiness. This is the single most important motivation for being a Public Service Officer.

As we mark SG50 this year, let us recognise the contributions of past and present generations of public officers, and thank them for their commitment to our people and country. As we look ahead to SG100, may the ethos and values of the Public Service continue to be the guiding light for future generations of public officers. Let us all work together to scale new heights, serve Singaporeans better, and create an even brighter future for all of us.

Mr Teo Chee Hean

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister in charge of the Civil Service

1 September 2015


Our Public Service has always operated in the background as the quiet engine supporting the growth and development of the nation. It is, and will always be, here to serve the people of Singapore. Over the years, we have continually adapted and innovated in the way we operate, whether in policy design, service delivery or public engagement. This nimbleness and dexterity must remain the cornerstone of all that we do, especially in an increasingly volatile external environment.

The journey of the Singapore Public Service is a continuing story. Heart of Public Service presents our 50 years of growing up with the nation, in two volumes - 'Our Institutions' and 'Our People'. Capturing key milestones in our history, the volumes tell the story of how the Public Service and its officers contributed to building up a successful Singapore.

'Our Institutions' recounts the Public Service's efforts in growing the economy and creating jobs; developing the key social pillars of education, healthcare and housing; building basic infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, schools and flats; transforming Singapore into a City in a Garden. It also discusses how we built up our defence and security capabilities and strengthened foreign relations.

'Our People' is a testament to the men and women of the Public Service who serve with dedication and distinction in the roles they are called to play. Their stories bring to life significant historic moments and give a glimpse of their personal pride in serving the nation.

The Public Service dedicates Heart of Public Service to our founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away this year. Mr Lee was singularly instrumental in creating the Public Service ethos that we have today - clean, efficient, effective and, indeed, exceptional.

We will continue this unending journey of building a first class Public Service, worthy of Singapore.

Mr Peter Ong

Head, Civil Service

1 September 2015


‘Our Institutions’ traces the development of the Singapore Public Service through its driving goals and ideals. Written by a team of writers and researchers from the Civil Service College and other agencies, this volume shows how the Public Service has confronted crises, managed complexities and risen to meet our nation's most pressing challenges over the past five decades.

Read Book


‘Our People’ features 50 stories about public officers who have been a part of the key moments in our history. Featuring vivid and inspiring first-person accounts and narratives, ‘Our People’ showcases the values that define the Public Service – integrity, service and excellence – as well as how public officers serve tirelessly and round the clock, from their hearts.

Read Book