Am still going through and sorting out my personal items; this time round I found a booklet I had received from one of the 'tea' sessions MINDEF had held for prospective SAF scholars and their parents.
The entire first page was on a quote by (then) SM Lee:
a "passport" that you can flash
"I would want a career which would give me options because you cannot foretell what openings the future will have.
So I would go for an SAF Overseas Scholarship or Overseas Merit Scholarship as the first step - what you want in life is a passport you can flash.
...And if you take an SAF scholarship, an Overseas Merit Scholarship, there are one of about 50 each year. Any minister, any civil servant, any judge, looks through your CV and say: Ah, one of 50 for that year."
Lee Kuan Yew's address to NUS undergraduates on 29 July 1994
I can still remember the whole of Raffles City Ballroom was packed with prospective scholars (meaning impressionable JC kids), their folks, past and present scholars (many in their No.3 with bars, crabs and stars) and included the PS for Defense. It was hard not to be caught up in that atmosphere and wish to be one of the men in uniform.
Anyway, back to the above quote. Isn't it inappropriate for MM Lee to say that to the NUS students? Afterall, they were not on any of the mentioned scholarship schemes. Kinda like telling them "hey, you are not one of the elites."
Nowadays, the best would go for bond free overseas scholarships.
On a side note: What are your thoughts about this thread?