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Serious Son of Taxi Driver Among this year's (2017) President's Scholars.

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by shiokalingam, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. shiokalingam

    shiokalingam Alfrescian Old Timer

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    [​IMG]
    The fifth President's Scholar, Mr Lee Tat Wei, with his parents Lee Yeow Shoon, 69, and Teo Kwee Hiang, 59. The former ACS (I) student will be heading to Yale University to study liberal arts.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN



    Yesterday (16 Aug), five young Singaporeans were awarded the prestigious President's Scholarship at the Istana, Amelia Teng reports.





    Mr Lee Tat Wei lives in a four-room flat in Woodlands. He and his older brother went to neighbourhood schools. His father is a taxi driver and his mother works as a part- time sales assistant.

    Despite his humble background, the 19-year-old said he has never felt shortchanged. "My parents gave me an environment that money couldn't buy. They never pressured me to get straight As. They taught me to live in the moment," said the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) graduate who had a perfect score of 45 for his International Baccalaureate diploma exams.

    Mr Lee, who is one of the five recipients of the President's Scholarship this year, will be going to read liberal arts at Yale University.

    He attended Woodlands Primary School for three years before transferring to ACS (Primary) after qualifying for the Gifted Education Programme.

    "I grew up in two different worlds... I come from a working-class family, but in school I interacted with peers from different backgrounds... Some came from more affluent families," he said.

    Mr Lee, a Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarship (Foreign Service) holder, said: "I empathise with people on the ground, but I also understand people who look at things intellectually and theoretically."

    The President's Scholarship is the most prestigious of all undergraduate awards given out by the PSC.

    The other recipients this year are: Ms Cheri Wee Jin Ting from the School of the Arts, Singapore; Raffles Institution graduates Jasdeep Singh Hundal and Agatha Sacha Lim Lee; and officer cadet Lionel Oh Wei Hao from National Junior College. They are all aged 19.

    They were picked by the PSC for their character, leadership potential and outstanding co-curricular and academic achievements. President's Scholarships have been awarded since 1966.

    At the award ceremony yesterday, President Tony Tan Keng Yam told the new batch of President's Scholars that they can expect to tackle challenges such as safeguarding social cohesion and the need to improve skills in the workforce.

    "Our global environment is constantly changing. As a small nation, Singapore has to constantly find our place in a world that does not owe us a living," said Dr Tan.

    Singapore needs to "strive for continuous progress in order to earn our place on the global stage", he added.

    Mr Lee said his parents are his greatest role models.


    "They weren't very educated but they gave me moral support... My father encouraged me to take up a sport, to do what I love," he said.

    In secondary school, he joined rugby, which he said taught him not just physical discipline but also the ability to confront failure and focus more on the learning process.

    A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2017,
     
  2. tanwahtiu

    tanwahtiu Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Whole family votes go to who?

    Notice cone fron woodlands? Which MP there? That minah ....just resigned?
     
  3. shiokalingam

    shiokalingam Alfrescian Old Timer

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    [​IMG]
    Four of this year's (2017) five President's Scholars (from left) Lionel Oh, Cheri Wee, Agatha Sacha Lim Lee and Jasdeep Singh Hundal. They (all 19 y.o.) received their awards from President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who spoke about the impact of the constantly changing global environment on Singapore and the challenges the country faces.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN
     
  4. shiokalingam

    shiokalingam Alfrescian Old Timer

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  5. kelton65

    kelton65 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Personally I think the Singh guy is the most outstanding among all of them.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/a-love-for-languages-cultures

    English, Malay, Hindi and Mandarin - Mr Jasdeep Singh Hundal speaks all these languages on top of his mother tongue Punjabi.

    And he is learning French too.

    Growing up, he was also exposed to different languages at home as his parents speak three to six languages, from Punjabi, Malay and Tamil to Hindi, English and Chinese.

    "I can't exactly remember which language I learnt first," said the 19-year-old who picked up Chinese from his play group at age three.

    He took an interest in the Chinese language, studying it as a subject at Nan Chiau Primary School even though it did not count towards his overall grades. He took Punjabi classes out of school on Saturday mornings.

    He later studied Chinese as a third language in Raffles Institution - and scored A1.

    "The school (Nan Chiau Primary) really immersed me in the Chinese culture. As the head prefect, I said the Pledge and gave the graduation speech in Mandarin," he said.

    His love for languages spurred his interest in learning about other cultures, and Mr Hundal, one of five recipients of the President's Scholarship this year, will be taking up a double degree in social sciences and history in two countries.

    Mr Hundal, who is on a Public Service Commission scholarship (Foreign Service), will spend the first two years at the Sciences Po in France, and the next two at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States.

    The only child of an engineer and part-time dental assistant scored straight As for all his A-level subjects, which included biology, chemistry, mathematics and economics.

    He said: "Languages are tied to people and by extension, culture, arts and politics.

    "What better way to understand people than to speak to them in their own language... It shows that you're interested to know about them and their culture."

    Amelia Teng
     
  6. congo9

    congo9 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    I think this article want to show that there is an upward social mobility in Singapore. Though Elitism is evident.
     
  7. shiokalingam

    shiokalingam Alfrescian Old Timer

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    x5 Pres scholarship = x1 =20% to farmers is Ok lah.
     
  8. Papsmearer

    Papsmearer Alfrescian (InfP) - Comp Old Timer

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    very proud to see that yet another rafflesian has won the President Scholar.
     
  9. johnny333

    johnny333 Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Good for them. However they will probably become over paid civil servants earning $$$$$
     
  10. Scrooball (clone)

    Scrooball (clone) Alfrescian Old Timer

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    I am surprised they didn't have a reserved slot for every single race
     
  11. shiokalingam

    shiokalingam Alfrescian Old Timer

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    very sharp and valid point raised. good.
     
  12. Rogue Trader

    Rogue Trader Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Happy to see there is no one from Hwa Chong .. less obedient Pap dogs will be injected into the system this year
     
  13. congo9

    congo9 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    He will be probably better off working on Pte sector.
     
  14. halsey02

    halsey02 Alfrescian (Inf)

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    So, Singh, can be the future President candidate, under which category?, Indian, Chinese or..??
     
  15. KuanTi01

    KuanTi01 Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Oh yes. Auspicium Melioris Aevi.
     
  16. borom

    borom Alfrescian (Inf)

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    I see it differently, for his son to be a president scholar, taxi driver Lee Yeow Shoon must be a smart guy-meaning smart guys still struggle
    to make a living
    (as a taxi driver ) in singapore and still has to work at 69.

    Most of us know most taxi drivers are in their 2nd/3rd career and very often due to retrenchments or FT's taking over their jobs.
    Anyone knows why Mr Lee became a taxi driver and still need to work at 69 when in most countries they would at this age be happily retired and enjoying life?
     
  17. nayr69sg

    nayr69sg Alfrescian Old Timer

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    How come no Malay? It is very important to maintain race representation in President Scholarship awards too.
     
  18. shittypore

    shittypore Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Reality lah, slaves must work till they drop dead, if all the Sinkies Slaves dont work how to pay off our Ministars and their Cronies life style.
     
  19. johnny333

    johnny333 Alfrescian (Inf)

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    If he/she is really smart they should run road. There is potential for doing more interesting jobs also making $ & keeping your self respect. It would be a gamble working in Spore because one may end up as a taxi driver.
     
  20. eatshitndie

    eatshitndie Alfrescian (Inf)

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    the family is from star wars. yoda meets jabba the hutt.
     

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