Professor Charles Ng has been widely acknowledged to be a man of influence, quite apart from his illustrious achievements as a leading gynaecologist ahead of his time. Now Emeritus Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Singapore General Hospital, Prof Ng always has a soft spot for financially disadvantaged students.
Way back in the 1980s, as Founding President of both the British Alumni (Singapore) and the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore, Prof Ng, a Cambridge graduate, had already held the idea of a student assistance scheme in passionate embrace. This inclination, coupled with a personal vision of wanting a life well-lived, spurred him to launch the PROF CHARLES NG BURSARY FUND at Duke-NUS: A manifestation of his deep-rooted belief - “It’s about life and living. It’s about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future.”
“Learning from the past” - Prof Ng shared his fond memory of his late father, who left his hometown Penang, Malaya to study medicine in Singapore. The late Dr Ng See Yook, Director of Medical Services and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, was a beneficiary of a scholarship. Believing in learning from the past, and paying it forward, Prof Ng had set up a student loan fund at the University of Singapore in honor of the late Dr Ng. Prof Ng’s continued aspiration to help financially disadvantaged students saw renewed fruition, when he turned eighty in June 2019.
“Building for the future” - With the same marked conviction and tenacity, Prof Ng continued his leading patriotism and unyielding influence throughout his career. He was one of the five instrumental individual proponents who lobbied for the setting up of Singapore’s second medical institution in the Outram health services cluster. "After years of lobbying, I was overjoyed when our proposal was accepted, and Duke-NUS Medical School was born in 2005,” he reminisced.
“Living in the present” - A personal pledge from Prof Ng for a Bursary Fund to Duke-NUS made at his 80th birthday celebratory occasion resulted in many of his guests pledging to the same cause. “Much to my delight, many of my friends and guests enthusiastically donated to the same worthy cause,” Prof Ng beamed. Giving is a choice. Indeed, aptly displayed by a distinguished individual who lives so purposefully. The PROF CHARLES NG BURSARY FUND was set up, with terrific help from a close associate Mrs Tan Soo Nan, who was instrumental in coordinating the fundraising event.
With the PROF CHARLES NG BURSARY FUND set up, Prof Ng hopes the bursary recipients, many of whom are mature students with financial obligations, will be better able to focus on their learning and will go on to become great clinicians.
It remains Prof Ng’s hope that the bursary recipients will, upon graduation and achieving financial stability, strive to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. “Give back to society, donate to the PROF CHARLES NG BURSARY FUND, when you are in a position to do so,” he advised. Indeed, words of wisdom and inspiration.