Photo of RI Principal from Today

In his speech at the school founding day, the principal of Singapore’s richest school Raffles Institution (RI) Chan Poh Meng declared that RI students are all elites of Singapore. The RI principal said that RI students should not act snobbish despite their privileged background and that their “elitism” comes with “responsibility”:

“While it is fine to be recognised as part of an elite group of students who excel in studies or are endowed with other talents, it does not give one the licence to be elitist. You don’t be exclusive. You must be inclusive. It would be terrible if you deny there is such a thing as being elite… it’s what you do with that as a responsibility.”

The RI principal told state media that he only learned how to be “humble” after he was struck with a stage 3 colon cancer three years ago:

“On how he ended up with a “reflective” speech, Mr Chan disclosed that it was possibly due to his own illness. He was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2014 and took a six-month leave of absence to undergo chemotherapy.

“It could be that… I had so much time at home, thinking about life,” he said with a laugh. “It could be one of those moments when I was reflecting about what was the meaning (of life and) what I was going to bring to my job.””

In another news, the Ministry of Education announced that seven primary schools and three secondary schools – East View, Hong Kah and Shuqun – were shut down. All schools that were shut down are neighbourhood schools.