12,581 people attended Hwa Chong's 100th anniversary dinner, 13 current MPs are alumni

Prominent members in their alumni include Ng Chee Meng, Baey Yam Keng and Grace Fu.

Guan Zhen Tan | March 22, 2019, 09:13 PM

Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) celebrated their 100th anniversary on their Founder's Day, which falls on March 21.

The school, which started as The Chinese High School, was established in 1919, with just 70 students in a small building at the Selegie area at Niven Road.

Despite the rain, more than 12,000 people in total attended the centennial gala dinner, which was held in the institution's Bukit Timah Campus.

With a total of 12,581 participants, the dinner has also entered the Singapore Book of Records as the largest School Anniversary Dinner.

PM Lee: "Your alumni have distinguished themselves in many fields, public life, industry and academia"

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attended the event and gave a speech, noting the school's high academic performance and efforts to expose students to peers of different races, cultures and backgrounds.

He said that Hwa Chong maintained high academic standards, and the best students across Singapore aspire to study in Hwa Chong.

PM Lee also noted that the Hwa Chong alumni have distinguished themselves in many fields, public life, industry and academia.

He also highlighted the school's part in many pivotal events, such as World War 2,  and the anti-colonial riots and the separation from Malaysia in 1965.

PM Lee urged students to get to understand the context of Singapore's society and their responsibilities within, and to contribute to "the society and system that has nurtured you, and to take on leadership roles to help take Singapore forward".

Famous Alumni

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1824"]Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor Photo via Lee Hsien Loong's Facebook post[/caption]

A sizable number of our current politicians are part of the institution's alumni. They include:

  • Ng Chee Meng, Secretary general of NTUC and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC

  • Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Leader of the House, MP for Yuhua SMC
  • Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education, MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
  • Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

  • Baey Yam Keng,  Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, MP for Tampines GRC

  • Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC
  • Sam Tan Chin Siong,  Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Social and Family Development, MP for Radin Mas SMC
  • Denise Phua, Mayor, Central Singapore District, MP for Jalan Besar GRC
  • Lee Yi Shyan, MP for East Coast GRC
  • K Muralidharan Pillai, MP for Bukit Batok
  • Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Sembawang GRC
  • Tin Pei Ling, MP for Macpherson SMC
  • Melvin Yong, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC

    • Ang Wei Neng, MP for Jurong GRC

  • Leon Perera, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament

A few of them appeared alongside PM Lee for the celebrations. Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung was also there to grace the occasion.

HCI is a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school. The SAP was a long term scheme introduced in 1979 to preserve the best Chinese-stream schools.

This is to develop effectively bilingual students who are also well-versed with traditional Chinese values.

PM Lee also noted that these schools placed emphasis on character development, and had "seriousness of purpose and the spirit of community".

Top image via PM Lee's Facebook page