First female to be awarded Singapore Merit Scholarship

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17 outstanding students awarded SPF, Home Team scholarships

Ms Cammy Chua has always been interested in the uniformed services.

Not surprising, as her father is a former fighter pilot who impressed upon her the importance of security.

Yet, she was apprehensive when applying for a Home Team scholarship, as she had to go through six gruelling months of basic military training and officer cadet school as a prerequisite for the scholarship.

"But things kind of clicked in my mind one day. Why should I, even as a girl, shy away from challenges which my future men (subordinates) would face... I wanted to push my limits, I didn't want to shy away from it," said Ms Chua, 19.

Yesterday, she became the first woman to receive the Singapore Merit Scholarship. She was one of 17 recipients who were awarded scholarships at the Singapore Police Force Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship award ceremony at the Istana.

The scholarships are awarded yearly to outstanding students keen to pursue a career with the Home Team. Scholars will pursue undergraduate studies in local or overseas universities.

Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law K. Shanmugam was the guest of honour at this year's ceremony.

On being the first woman to receive the scholarship, Ms Chua said she hoped this would inspire other girls to step out of their comfort zones.

Even though she struggled to cope with some army exercises, such as a four-day field camp where she carried extra baggage and had minimal sleep, she said it felt amazing being able to push through and finish the exercises.

The former Raffles Institution student will study psychology at University College London.

Another first at this year's ceremony was the awarding of the Singapore Civil Defence Force Paramedic Scholarship, which was introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs in April.

The scholarship was awarded to Mr Han Ming Xuan, 20, who will pursue Para-medicine at Australia's Monash University.

Other recipients include Mr Alden Tan and Mr Stefan Liew, both 19, who were awarded the Singapore Police Force Scholarship, one of the most prestigious scholarships awarded by the Public Service Commission.

Mr Tan will be studying economics, statistics and data science at Yale University, and Mr Liew will be pursuing liberal arts at Yale-NUS College.

Mr Tan said his interest in police work came from watching the television series Crimewatch. A short attachment with the police force while in school cemented his decision to join the force.