The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) honoured 2 staff members for 20 years of service at ASEF’s 20th Anniversary Staff Alumni Party on Friday, 30 June 2017.
Executive Director Ambassador Karsten WARNECKE introduced Mr Vetrivelu ‘Velu’ SINNATHAMBY and Mr Basri MOHAMED BORHAASEF as the awardees. They received plaques from Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy KOH, who was also recognised as Alumni-of-Honour during the event.
“Since it was established in 1997, ASEF has had 7 Executive Directors from 6 different Asian and European countries. But we will always remember our first”, Ambassador WARNECKE said in presenting the token of appreciation.
From 1997 to 2000, Professor KOH steered the organisation’s growth in building bridges and networks between Asia and Europe as ASEF’s founding Executive Director. He received a framed photo, taken during the organisation’s 1st year in 1997 with his inaugural staff when the office was still located at Nassim Hill near the Singapore Botanic Gardens. While sharing the stage with them, including Velu and Basri, he acknowledged the role of ASEF alumni through the years.
“ASEF plays a unique role in engaging civil society. Over the years we have fostered networks, partnerships and connections. Many of what my colleagues and I have started have endured and thrived”, he added. “You have a very important job to do. My birthday wish is that you will rise to the occasion”.
According to Professor KOH, Asia and Europe should stand together to defend important values including free trade, globalisation, diversity and tolerance, as well as institutions of global governance.
ASEF’s 20th Anniversary Staff Alumni Party drew over 60 attendees among current and former staff. It is one of the series of events commemorating the organisation’s 20 years.