S'pore student to make opening remarks at next US presidential debate

When United States presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have their rematch in St Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, there will be a Singapore presence as well.

Mr Kenneth Sng, a Public Service Commission scholarship holder, will be delivering opening remarks at the event as the Student Union president of Washington University in St Louis, which is hosting the event.

His remarks are expected to be broadcast on American cable channel C-Span ahead of the clash between the two candidates.

Previous student leaders at presidential debates have also been given the opportunity to meet the nominees.

The Office of International Students and Scholars at Washington University said in its official newsletter that the role of Mr Sng - who is the first international student to serve as the Student Union's president - in the event holds special significance.

Even more so "considering how issues surrounding immigration policy have become so prominent in this election", it said.

The 24-year-old attended Jurong Junior College from 2009 to 2010, and the school said yesterday that it is proud of its student.

"We are extremely happy for him and very proud of him being the first international student to be elected president of Washington University's Student Union, and being accorded this rare opportunity to deliver the opening remarks at the upcoming second US presidential debate," it said.

According to interviews with the university's student newspaper, Mr Sng said he ran to be president of the Student Union because he thought the university's financial allocation process was not transparent or streamlined enough when he tried to start a Singapore students' association.

The final-year student in economics and mathematics added that he intends to bring his approach to campus life back to the civil service when he graduates.

"If I have that sense of purpose and meaning in a career in civil service, I'll definitely continue for as long as I can."

Over 80 million people tuned in to watch the first debate between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton, and another large audience is expected for the rematch.

The debate begins next Monday at 9am (Singapore time).

This article was first published on Oct 07, 2016.
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