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Unveiling the Tapestry of Singapore's History: A Book Dialogue Session with Professor Tan Tai Yong

As part of the Singapore Young Leaders programme initiated by Ministry of Education, 20 SUSS student leaders gathered, accompanied by staff and two student leaders from National University of Singapore (NUS), for a captivating dialogue session with Professor Tan Tai Yong, SUSS President. The focal point of this engaging discussion was the profound exploration of the book titled, “The Idea of Singapore Smallness Unconstrained”.

The primary objective of this enlightening event was to delve into the historical journey that has sculpted Singapore into the dynamic nation it is today. The participants eagerly sought to understand the intricate interplay of events, decisions, and cultural nuances that have contributed to shaping the unique identity of Singapore. 

Group photo with Profressor Tan @ National Musuem book dialogue!
Professor Tan Tai Yong, SUSS President (first row, fourth from left) with participants holding the book titled, “The Idea of Singapore Smallness Unconstrained”

The dialogue session was marked by an in-depth exploration of the factors that have defined Singapore's path over the years. Professor Tan Tai Yong, a beacon of knowledge, led the discussion with finesse, guiding the participants through the pages of the book and unravelling the layers of history that often go unnoticed.

Prof Tan Book 1
Professor Tan Tai Yong engaging in a dialogue session with the participants

One of the highlights of the session was the participants' engagement in a thoughtful conversation about the concept of being unconstrained despite Singapore’s small size. This nuanced discussion delved into how Singapore, despite its size and limited resources, managed to carve a prominent space on the global stage. It was an eye-opening journey for many, offering a new perspective on the resilience and innovation that Singapore has displayed throughout its history.

In the midst of the dialogue, Benjamin Chong, Chairperson of 1SUSS, aptly summarised his experience, "It was an eye-opening journey to understand the history and learn how Singapore has reached its current status with little to no resources." On the other hand, Lim Matthew Jude Nerona, Vice-captain of Athletics, shared that he really enjoyed “how Professor Tan would give multiple relevant points to give a fully comprehensive answer”. Faris Ridzuan, a student leader from NUS shared that he enjoyed “the candid, inclusive and compassionate energetic space”. This sentiment echoed the collective sentiment of the attendees, who left the session with a newfound appreciation for the complexities and triumphs embedded in Singapore's history.

As we reflect on this insightful dialogue session, it becomes evident that understanding the history of Singapore is not merely an academic pursuit but a key to unlocking the essence of this remarkable nation. The event stands as a testament to the hunger for knowledge among the youths, eager to comprehend the past and contribute to the continued growth and evolution of Singapore.

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