(This article forms one part of our two-part series of interviews with the SC presidential candidates, featuring Frances Pek and Bryan Foo Suon Chuang. Make sure to check in later today for our conversations with Yong Li and Yong Kang!)
Bryan Foo Suon Chuang
Clad smartly in his uniform, Bryan Foo Suon Chuang smiles as he pulls out his chair to take a seat. He gives off a very warm, approachable vibe, and makes the situation feel comfortable at once. When asked by this reporter what he thought his greatest weakness was, Bryan calmly answers: “My greatest weakness is actually my greatest strength too. I’m overly diplomatic, and others have also given me similar feedback. Sometimes, I am not direct enough, and tend to beat around the bush, which makes decision making tough”. However, he is not shy to say that he is proud of who he is, of his individual character and personality. “I’m proud that I’m different, and that I’m my own person, in the sense that no two people are the same and each of us are special.”
But the real question on everyone’s mind really is: How do you plan on making student suggestions come true, when faced with constraint or limitations from teachers or the school? Pausing to gather his thoughts before replying, Bryan says “I’ll push the students’ ideas and try to work with teachers or the school as a team. I think highlighting the students’ problems to the teachers are the most important. For example, the 32nd SC batch made it possible to pass the Igloo renovation idea. I have to at least try to be the voice of students, and I think the most important bit is trying. That’s the least we could do.”
If he were to describe himself in 3 words, it would be Influencer, caring, steadfast.
“I like to build on the idea of servant leadership. I want to be someone who listens, and not only lead but also serve.”
Surely everyone must have an inspiration, and Bryan is no different. He says he looks up to Abraham Lincoln as a leader. “He championed the cause that he wanted to go for and worked very hard to achieve his aims, such as the 13th Amendment Labour Rights Act. He strived on, no matter what, and was very determined to succeed. He was also a very good communicator- in fact, he was the President during the Civil War, and communicated closely with the people during that period of time.”
Just like Abraham Lincoln, Bryan feels it’s important to work towards an end goal, not just as an individual but as a team. “I want to empower everyone to work together, because it’s not the end results but the process that’s the most important. I’m a balance between people oriented and task oriented.”
Bonus Qn: What would you do with a small loan of a million dollars?
I would invest some of the money in the special needs education sector in Singapore. My mum works in the Autism sector, and I know they lack funding there. Part of it will also go towards upgrading our school, such as replacing the tables and updating the sound system. I’ll also create more areas for students to relax as it can get rather crowded at times!
Frances walks into the room, exuberating confidence and warmth, with a cheerful smile on her face. She looks well prepared, and does not seem the least bit nervous, which is why it seemed a little surprising when Frances mentions that her greatest weakness would be her lack of confidence. “In fact, this is actually the reason why I’m running for President of SC. I usually tend to take the safer route, and I want to step out of my comfort zone”. However, Frances is proud of her ability to empathize with and relate to others, saying “I am someone who is willing and ready to listen to others, and will consider people’s feelings, instead of just trying to get work done”.
What impressed this reporter was Frances’s reply when asked how she planned on making student suggestions come true, when faced with constraint or limitations from teachers or the school. She eloquently says: “I’ll try to actively gain student feedback and hear their point of view. I will try to understand the intention behind their suggestions first, so that even if their initial idea they would like for the school to implement doesn’t work, we can still modify their idea to suit the same intent“.
If she could describe herself in 3 words, it would be Empathetic, resilient, task-oriented.
“I also want to be a President that is transparent. I want to portray myself as who I am, and be as honest person. In order for others to have trust in you, you need to be an open book.”
Though Frances does not actually have a specific person who inspires her, she draws inspiration from the friends around her. “For example, when someone does something admirable, I will want to motivate myself too, such as during SC camp PT”. Ultimately, Frances says she is worth voting for because of her “conviction to really want to do (my) best as President and to do my part for my school. Also, my willingness to work hard and give my 100% in everything i do”.
Bonus question: What would you do with a small loan of a million dollars?
A. I’ll use it to fund resources for CIP initiatives that Victorians come up with, for example, funding for logistics and long term investments for such initiatives. I’ll also set aside some for the Council, because, after all it’s my CCA! However, ultimately, improvements made in the Council will impact the school as well, because SC serves the school.
Victoria Cheung, 16A14