It was a cloudy, rainy evening in Jakarta, yet I and my best friend Shaffira, running under the pouring rain towards Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta. We were invited to Reception with President of Singapore, Dr. Tony Tan and Mrs. Tony Tan on Thursday evening, November 29, 2012, and we were not going to miss this!
The President of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan, and Mrs Tony Tan were making a State Visit to Indonesia in November 2012. In conjunction with this visit, the Embassy of Singapore in Jakarta were hosting a reception for the Indonesian alumni of the National University of Singapore, the Nanyang Technological University, the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College, the Singapore Cooperation Programme, the Singapore and ASEAN scholarship programmes and the Temasek Foundation’s training programmes. I was officially invited as TF LEaRN @ NUS (Temasek Foundation Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking at National University of Singapore) Scholarship Alumni along with other fellow scholars in Indonesia. I and Shaffira, my fellow scholar and schoolmate in Universitas Indonesia, decided to come together from Depok.
I surprisingly realized that during the reception, TF LEaRN alumni were the only youth groups among the invited guests that includes business leaders, scholars, and government officials. Among others, I met my fellow TF LEaRN @ NUS alumni, Jhendra Ageng Samodra (2011), Shaffira Diraprana Gayatri (2011), Indah Gilang Pusparani (2011), and Michelle Johanna (2008). We were welcome personally by Mr. Benedict Cheong, Director and CEO of Temasek Foundation, whom we met firstly at our NUS Graduation Ceremony back then in 2011. He enthusiastically asked about our experience and lesson-learned from our study in Singapore. We also shared about recent activity, future academic and professional aspiration, as well as useful feedback for future TF LEaRN programs in NUS.
As the alumni of a leading Temasek Foundation program in education, I and other TF LEaRN Alumni had a exclusive chance to talk personally with President of Singapore Mr.Tony Tan and Mrs.Tony Tan. Mr.Tony Tan was glad to hear our learning journey in NUS and what we aspire to do in the future. He said he loved to see bright young minds from Asia invested during TF LEaRN @ NUS Programs could stand up as regional leaders in the foreseeable future and help bridging mutual understanding across nations in Asia. I also had a chance to be interviewed by Berita Harian, a prominent Malay daily newspaper in Singapore. This story is featured in Berita Harian, on December 8, 2012, page 4. The paper is available here: President of Singapore State Visit in Jakarta.