Keynote Fireside Chat with Minister Ong Ye Kung

Following the extremely engaging Meet the Ambassadors Series Fireside Chat last month with Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Singapore, our next Fireside will be about Singapore, its future, and therefore our future.

The Society is delighted to announce that our next Fireside Chat will be with Mr Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence.

Minister Ong is widely seen as one of the core members of Singapore’s and the PAP’s fourth generation (or “4G”) leaders. Some political analysts and publications, including the Straits Times and the South China Morning Post, have touted him to be one of the contenders to lead Singapore in the future. The SCMP in particular highlighted Minister Ong’s long working relationship with PM Lee Hsien Loong, his “battle-hardened” nature from his experience of electoral defeat in his maiden political outing in the 2011 general election before bouncing back to be elected in 2015, and his unusual personal narrative given his father was a Barisan Sosialis MP in the 1960s in opposition to the PAP.

What does Singapore’s future hold? What is the 4G leadership’s vision for Singapore, and what are the roles that each leader is likely to play? On a personal level, how has Minister Ong’s political experience and personal background – unusual among PAP MPs – shaped his approach to leadership and does that make him a better listener?

The Society’s President has asked Minister Ong also to discuss the challenges Singapore faces in a no holds barred “State of the Nation” analysis. Come join us for an intriguing discussion at a Fireside Chat that is certain to be one of the highlights of the Society’s year. Numbers will be strictly limited to 30 pax.

Please sign up via Peatix. Details below.

Date/Time: Tuesday, 7 November, 7.15 pm for 7.30pm
Venue: 2A Victoria Park Close, Singapore 266550
Tickets: $38 for members, $60 for guests (limited spaces – no refunds allowed)
Sign-up: http://oykfireside.peatix.com


Remembering Tyler

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore deeply regrets to report the passing of our beloved Committee member Tyler Hung. Tyler will be remembered as larger than life, a friendly, cheerful soul, always bearing a warm smile and wanting to help, and serving with dedication in whatever he did. He was the Society’s point person in organising our popular Fresher’s events and was passionate about mentoring students. His will be dearly missed by all of us. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Alyssa and his family. The wake will take place on Sunday 22 October 2017, 6pm, at Purity Hall, Mount Vernon Sanctuary, 121 Upper Aljunied Road, Singapore 367878. Visiting will continue on Monday, 11am – 10pm.


Inaugural Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore and Malaysia Putrajaya Lake Boat Race – 14 October 2017

Oxbridge Singapore Boat Club (OSBC) has added another regional footprint to our annual rowing calendar !

At the invitation of our Oxbridge Malaysian comrades, OSBC rowers participated in the Inaugural Oxbridge Singapore & Malaysia Putrajaya Lake Boat Race on 14 October 2017.

The Singapore delegation was led by Oxbridge Singapore President Paul Supramaniam & Hon Secretary-OSBC Captain Ng Yeau Chong.

The OSBC rowers were :
Anibal Gonzalez (Girton College, Cambridge)
Antonio Alvarez (St Cross College, Oxford)
David Li (Queens College, Cambridge)
Elizabeth Brown (Newnham College, Cambridge)
Michelle Low (Hughes Hall, Cambridge)
Sandra Chua, (St Anne’s College, Oxford)
Vanessa Tok (St Hugh’s College, Oxford)

OSBC emerged the Overall Champion over the clash of blades at this historic gathering.


Meet the Ambassadors Series: Fireside Chat with Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Acting Ambassador, US Embassy in Singapore

Dear Members,

Following the very well-attended AGM and Fireside Chat on “Artificial Intelligence and the search for eternal youth” with venture capitalist Dr Finian Tan, our next chat will focus on foreign and security policy in the Asia-Pacific.

Members who attended the Launch of our Meet the Ambassadors Series, a joint fireside chat in April featuring Singapore’s Ambassador to Japan Lui Tuck Yew and Japan’s Ambassador to Singapore Kenji Shinoda will recall that the US’ role in the economic and security architecture of the Asia-Pacific was a hot topic for discussion. Five months later, with escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, as well as contested claims over the South China Sea questions have been raised of the US’ role, if any, in the region. Notably, the Economist in its latest issue asks if Asia’s American-led order is being ruined by “an American wrecking-ball”. Even if, as some believe, there is no clear replacement for the US at the centre of security in the Asia-Pacific, American prestige in the region is suffering. What is the US’ approach to the region, and has it changed? Does the Trump Administration even have a plan, and if so is the Asia-Pacific a priority?

Against this backdrop, we are pleased to have the opportunity to host Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Acting Ambassador at the US Embassy in Singapore, who will speak on “The role of the United States in the Asia-Pacific”.

Join us for what is sure to be an exciting and engaging fireside chat. Dato Paul Supramaniam and Dr Melanie Chew will jointly moderate. Sign up via Peatix.

Venue: 6B Cluny Park, Singapore 259615
Date/Time: Friday, 29 September, 7pm (food and drink provided)
Tickets: $38 for members, $50 for guests (limited spaces)
Sign-up: http://syptakramnathfireside.peatix.com

About the speaker:

Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Her most recent assignment prior to her appointment to Singapore was as Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, where she managed Public Diplomacy staff across 9 Consulates in implementing U.S. government public outreach efforts that covered the work of 29 USG agencies in Mexico.

Stephanie previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bamako, Mali where she led a team of 300 interagency colleagues in shaping and implementing the U.S. government response to the political, security, and humanitarian crises in the country.

A specialist in the field of Public Diplomacy, Stephanie’s other assignments include Senior Deputy Director in the Office of Public Diplomacy for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs; Career Development Officer for mid-level Public Diplomacy officers, Public Affairs Officer in Mali; Assistant Public Affairs Officer in Tunisia; Staff Assistant and Political Officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations; and Vice-Consul in Monterrey, Mexico.

Stephanie was a member of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation 2011-2012 Fellows Class, a group of 35 rising women leaders from 14 different nations. As part of the program, she completed executive programs at both Harvard Business School and INSEAD’s Singapore campus.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Stephanie was an officer in the U.S. Navy. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Stephanie is married and has two daughters. She speaks French, Spanish, and some Arabic. Her mother was a Singaporean who married a senior US Airforce officer and moved to the USA and her paternal grandfather was a US Air Force highly decorated pilot in WW2.