President's Scholar

A President's Scholar is a recipient of the most prestigious class of university undergraduate scholarships awarded to Singaporean citizens annually by the government. A recipient of the President's Scholarship has a legal obligation to serve in the government for a stipulated period of time after completing his or her studies in university.

Shortlisted candidates are interviewed by a selection committee chaired by the Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Singapore.

A President's Scholarship is generally awarded concurrently with another PSC Scholarship, which could be either of the following:


The President's Scholarship has its roots in the Queen's Scholarship, which was founded in 1885. The Queen's Scholarship was initiated by Cecil Clementi Smith, Governor of the Straits Settlements. It was awarded to the best performing student of the year by a special selection board.

The Queen's Scholarship was abolished in 1959 and replaced by the Singapore State Scholarship when Singapore gained self-governance.

In August 1964, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship was inaugurated to replace the State Scholarship.

In 1966, after Singapore achieved independence, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship was renamed the President's Scholarship.


Many recipients of the President's Scholarship went on to serve in top positions in the civil service.

According to statistics collected by the newspaper The Straits Times, the schools in Singapore having the highest number of President's Scholars among their alumni are as follows:

School Number of President's Scholars
Raffles Institution 96
Hwa Chong Institution 56
National Junior College 45
Notable recipients of the President's Scholarship
Name Year received Remarks
Lim Boon Keng 1887 Member, British Legislative Council
Edmund W. Barker 1946 Former Cabinet Minister (1964 - 1988)
Tony Tan Former Cabinet Minister; President of Singapore (2011 - )
Lee Yock Suan 1966 Former Cabinet Minister (1987 - 2004)
Mah Bow Tan 1967 Former Cabinet Minister (1991 - 2011)
Yeo Ning Hong Former Cabinet Minister (80s/90s)
Lee Hsien Loong 1970 Prime Minister of Singapore
Teo Chee Hean 1973 Deputy Prime Minister
George Yeo 1973 Former Cabinet Minister (1991 to 2011)
Chan Soo Sen 1975 Former Member of Parliament (1997 - 2011)
Lim Hng Kiang 1976 Minister for Trade and Industry
Vivian Balakrishnan 1980 Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
Chan Chun Sing 1988 Minister, Prime Minister's Office
Sim Ann 1994 Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information.
David Lim Former Ag Minister, Communications and Information
Dr Lee Tsao Yuan Former Nominated Member of Parliament
Public Sector
Ahmad Mohamed Ibrahim 1936 First Attorney-General of Singapore
Lim Siong Guan 1965 Group President of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Koh Cher Siang 1965 Chairman, Housing and Development Board
Barry Desker 1966 Dean, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Su Guaning 1967 Former President, Nanyang Technological University (2003 - 2011)
Kishore Mahbubani 1967 Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Lee Wei Ling 1973 Senior Advisor, National Neuroscience Institute
Ivan Png Paak Liang 1975 Vice-Provost, National University of Singapore (2001 - 2003)
Ng Chee Khern 1984 Former Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force; Permanent Secretary, Defence Development
Ng Chee Peng 1989 Former Chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy; CEO, Central Provident Fund Board
Francis Chong Fu Shin 1989
Lai Chung Han 1992 Chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)
Chong Tow Chong Provost, Singapore University of Technology and Design
Brandon Lee CEO, Council for Private Education
Tan Kai Hoe Former Chief of Staff, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)
Wong Tien Yin Vice Dean, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Lim Tuang Liang Head Air Operations, Republic of Singapore Air Force
Private Sector
Kwa Geok Choo Lawyer; wife of Lee Kuan Yew.
Mohamed Ismail bin Ibrahim 1968 First Malay President's Scholar. Brother of Yaacob Ibrahim
Ho Ching 1972 CEO, Temasek Holdings
Lee Hsien Yang 1976 Former CEO of Singapore Telecommunications.
Ang Peng Tiam 1977 Medical Director and Senior Consultant, Parkway Cancer Centre
Shaun Seow CEO, MediaCorp
Alan Chan CEO, Singapore Press Holdings
Low Sin Leng Executive Chairman, Sembcorp Development
Gan Juay Kiat CEO, SBS Transit



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