Students seize chance to meet PM

Students seize chance to meet PM
PM Lee chatting with students (from left) Shannon Chan, Swenson Chen and Tan Shing Kwan in his Warsaw hotel suite on Wednesday. The three Singaporeans were among seven university students on exchange programmes in the Polish capital who took the opportunity to meet Mr Lee during his first official visit to the country.

WARSAW - When student Chng Pei Ying read on The Straits Times website earlier this week that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was in Paris and would be visiting Warsaw next, she saw an opportunity.

The Singaporean got in touch with other citizens who, like her, are currently on exchange programmes at universities in the Polish capital, and asked: "Shall we ask to meet him?"

They were as enthusiastic as she was. So the 22-year-old, a Singapore Management University (SMU) student now at Kozminski University, sent a private message to Mr Lee's Facebook page.

Within a day, a reply came from the Prime Minister's Office: He would be happy to meet all of them before his dinner.

And so on Wednesday evening, seven smartly turned- out 20-somethings spent 45 minutes in lively conversation with Mr Lee in his hotel suite.

He had flown in just hours earlier from Paris for his first official visit to Poland.

SMU student Jared Heng, 23, now studying at Warsaw School of Economics, said: "It was a nice, cosy setting.

"It's very difficult to get a chance to meet him in Singapore, and we were fortunate to get to meet him here."

The seven are business, accountancy and economics students from SMU, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). They met through the exchange programme and have been based at various Warsaw universities since September. They will be here for a semester.

Writing on his Facebook page later, Mr Lee said he did not realise Poland was such a popular destination for students from SMU, NUS and NTU.

"They are enjoying their stay here and learning about Polish history, culture, language (one of the most difficult), food (Polish dumplings), and its growth story," he added.

After the meeting with the Prime Minister, the seven, still flushed with excitement, headed to the train station for their next adventure - a weekend in Prague.

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