Name: Chng Luey Chun
Year Awarded Scholarship: 2010
Scholarship Scheme: SGS (Open)
Undergraduate University: Peking University
Undergraduate Course: Bachelor in International Politics
Postgraduate University: London School of Economics and Political Science
Postgraduate Course: International relations
1. Why did you take up a PSC scholarship?
Coming from a family of modest means, I have benefited greatly from the opportunities and resources made available by society, without which I would not be who I am today. I made the decision to apply for a PSC Scholarship because I believed it to be the best way for me to give back to society. When I was offered a PSC Scholarship, I took it up understanding that it represented more than just an opportunity for me to study overseas. I hope that in my subsequent career with the Public Service, I will be able to make a positive difference to society.
2. What opportunities for development have you been given as a PSC scholarship holder?
I have enjoyed ample opportunities to further my development as a PSC Scholarship holder. The Preparatory Course gave me a basic understanding of the Public Service and public policy-making in Singapore. The PSC Scholars' Mid-Course Programme (PSMP) built upon that by allowing me to engage with the issues, challenges and constraints that policy-makers confront on a regular basis. Unique to the PSC China scholarship which I was awarded, I was encouraged to experience an internship with an organisation based out of China, which helped me to gain an even more intimate understanding of China.
3. Share with us a couple of highlights from your scholarship journey.
The four years I spent in China pursuing my undergraduate degree was definitely a highlight of my scholarship journey. Beyond the more superficial differences such as having to do everything in Mandarin Chinese as opposed to English, what struck me the most was witnessing up-close the sheer difference in scale between China and Singapore. This impressed upon me the vulnerability that inheres in Singapore's lack of scale. At the same time, Singapore's lack of size also gives it an advantage in being able to stay nimble and agile when responding to changes and challenges.
Another highlight for me would be the PSMP during which I had an internship opportunity with the Defence Policy Office in the Ministry of Defence. Through the two month-long internship, I gained a better appreciation of the challenges facing Singapore's external security and the importance of not taking the peace and stability of Singapore's external environment for granted. The internship was an immensely helpful platform to see for myself how public policy in Singapore was made.
4. What is your burning ambition for your Public Service career and how would you go about achieving it?
It is my hope that through my Public Service career, I will be able to perpetuate the legacy of our forebears in making Singapore a place which my fellow Singaporeans are proud to call home. Having come from a family of modest means, I intimately empathise with the myriad challenges that ordinary Singaporeans grapple with. I therefore believe that we must not forget that there is always a human element to the making of public policy, especially in this ever-more quickly changing world which can sometimes induce us to think about public policy as a simplistic, mechanistic matter of problem and solution. I believe that this will help me to pursue the goal that I have set for myself in my Public Service career.