If Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat indeed becomes Singapore’s next Prime Minister after he is named first assistant secretary-general of the People’s Action Party as expected, he will be Raffles’ Institution’s 3rd alumnus to become head of Government of Singapore.
Singaporean journalist Bhavan Jaipragas made the observation that it will be a “proud moment” for the storied Raffles Institution (RI) if Heng is made 4G PM, since it will have “the honour of having produced three Singapore PMs.” Jaipragas wrote on Twitter, yesterday:
This is a difficult viewpoint and a sure way to get flamed, but have to say it: Heng Swee Keat's anointment tmrw is a proud moment for Raffles Institution, our 195-year-old alma mater that will soon have the honour of having produced three #Singapore PMs. Auspicium Melioris Aevi.
— Bhavan Jaipragas 八万 (@jbhavan) November 22, 2018
Singapore’s founding PM Lee Kuan Yew, his successor Goh Chok Tong and Heng are all former RI boys. Late elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew attended RI in 1935, while Goh studied at the 195-year-old school from 1955 to 1960. Heng also completed his pre-university education at RI.
Singapore’s current PM Lee Hsien Loong is the only head of Government to have completed his pre-education schooling outside RI. PM Lee studied at Nanyang Primary School and received his secondary education at Catholic High School, before going on to National Junior College.
Founded in 1823, RI is the oldest school in Singapore for pre-tertiary education. It is an independent school, providing secondary education through a boys-only Year 1-4 section and pre-university education through a coeducational Year 5-6 section.
Besides producing 2 out of three PMs (soon to be 3 out of 4 PMs), RI is notable for having produced 94 President’s Scholars, 3 out of 7 Presidents, 4 Speakers of Parliament, 7 out of 20 members of the current Cabinet, 6 Ministers of State and 13 CEOs of government-linked statutory boards and agencies.
It is often cited as Singapore’s “premier school” and has been recognised as “the top feeder school for the Ivy League universities plus Stanford and MIT, as well as the top feeder school for Oxford University.”