The only one who scored full marks

SHE’S no history buff, but marketing executive Jamie Kao (right) was the only one who scored full marks in a my paper poll on how well Singapore’s youth know their country’s pioneers.

The 24-year-old, who works in the beauty and wellness industry, evidently knows more about the country’s founding fathers than many of her peers.

So, what’s her secret?

A curious mind and a good memory, Ms Kao said.

She is the younger of two daughters of a senior project engineer and a housewife who helps out at a vegetarian food stall in Tanjong Pagar.

“I read everything, from nailpolish tutorials to articles about the late president Ong Teng Cheong,” she said.

“Luckily for me, I tend to remember snippets of things I read, at times unknowingly.”

She said that, although she had not made a concerted effort to remember the achievements of Singapore’s pioneers, the poll questions jolted memories of facts learnt in the past.

“I was surprised that I still knew the answers,” she added.

Ms Kao, who studied at Hwa Chong Junior College before reading sociology at the Nanyang Technological University, noted that her circle of friends likely helped her to keep up with facts about Singapore.

“It was common to have stimulating conversations about politics, and we would bounce opinions off each other,” she recalled.

“Somehow, facts on serious topics, like those about political figures, are more easily remembered through conversations.”

She’s no nerd, though.

Outside of her full-time job, she runs a nail-polish review blog with over 300 followers – a testament to her wide-ranging interests.

Samantha Boh


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