Written by: Kong Shuozhi (4I4)
This year, the Hwa Chong Model ASEAN Summit (HCMAS) warmly welcomed participants on campus after a three-year hiatus, hosting distinguished guests from Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (Malaysia), Assumption College San Lorenzo (Philippines), and talented youths from a variety of local schools, including Nan Hua High School, Nanyang Girls High School and Methodist Girls School.
Across five days of the summit, participants simulated ministerial roles and debated issues like ASEAN approaches to environmental protection. Through their discussions, students were able to recognise the multi-faceted connections amongst policymakers, specialists and the public, appreciate the unique socio-cultural trends in ASEAN, and underscore how communication was critical to overcome regional challenges.
The closing ceremony was graced by Professor Liow Chin Yong, Dean, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Professor Liow highlighted the ever-changing situation of ASEAN and its member states, and how these developments brought stability and economic prosperity to the region, despite several limitations and shortcomings in the bloc.
HCMAS indeed was an eye-opening and engaging experience for both organisers and participants who gained a deeper appreciation for ASEAN while improving skills such as critical and caring thinking, negotiation and consensus-building.
Delegates of the 20th Hwa Chong Model ASEAN Summit
Professor Joseph Liow (third from left) at the Closing Ceremony of the 20th Hwa Chong Model ASEAN Summit. (Image credit: Tristan Lock)