Singapore student delivers speech for event that will not take place in his home country

Singaporean student Kenneth Sng delivered the opening remarks ahead of the second US presidential debate on Sunday (Oct 9) (Monday morning, Singapore time).

The 24-year-old was representing the host university, Washington University in St Louis, as the Student Union president.

Mr Sng spoke before a crowded debate hall, welcoming everyone to Washington University on behalf of the student body.

Coming on to thunderous applause, Mr Sng started by speaking about the birth of the United States and how the nation “was founded on a grand promise” which was memorialised by founding father Abraham Lincoln – the democratic ideal that America will “create a true government of the people, by the people, for the people”.



He also commented that this “great democratic experiment has since spread like wildfire to much of the world — sometimes raging, but more often smouldering — including to Singapore, my home”.

 He also mentioned democratic governments today being undermined by those “with a much different vision of the world, of their power and of their responsibilities to their citizens”.

On the debate, Mr Sng described it as “providing a momentous occasion to show that while citizens might disagree fervently on issues, they agree it is important to stay engaged in the democratic process”.

Looking ahead to polling day on Nov 8, Mr Sng said “citizens across this nation will cast their ballots and show the world that democracy as an ideal burns brightly in the dark”.

He ended his remarks by expressing his pride on behalf of the student body towards the university for hosting the debate and “giving voice to competing ideas at the core of democracy”.

Later that afternoon, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong praised Mr Sng on his Facebook page: “Glad that he mentioned ‘Singapore, my home’, in his remarks. Well done Kenneth. Keep the Singapore flag flying high!”

Edited from ST

Some comments on ST’s facebook post/video

“Wow awesome, now the elephant in the room. Isn’t it funny that we celebrate when one of our own gives the speech for the opening re-marks for the US presidential debate but at the same time not have any political debates of our own?” -Ben Matchap

“What happen if a foreign student making a speech for Singapore’s political event? I think a lot of netizens will say:huh?why ft ah? They can represent Singapore meh? How come a ft can talk on behalf of Singaporean…blah blah blah. Big country is really different. They can accept foreign talent all over the world” -Sophia Liao

“Donald Trump would make a very good candidate for our very own upcoming presidential election since he’s a minority (in our country) and a top executive of a company with at least $500 million in shareholders’ equity!” -Josh Yang

“Good well done! When he returns to Singapore, is he going to organise a debate between LHL and LTK? No, better not else he might get detained under ISA.” -Kelvin Ang

“”Government of the people, by the people, for the people” Dunno he got feel abit paiseh or not when he relate that to the one back home 😦” -Adrian Lim

“Good job Kenneth. I hope those PAPigs will look in our backyard and feel shame and guilt that Singapore has a history of jailing, suing, slandering politicians that are no in sync with PAP. In another words. Please don’t tell the world we are a democratic country.” -Stacy Teo

“Is Kenneth aware that in Spore, there are no debates during general elections, let alone televised ones?” -Loke Yu Ming

“These students must aggresively ensure that such political debates also be hosted in our own Asian countries like Malaysia Singapore etc.” -Pritpal Singh


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