Inseparable triplets score similar A-level results

Triplets (from left) Phuah Wei Yuan, Phuah Wei Ke and Phuah Wei Deng scored a total of 13As and two Bs in their A levels.
Triplets (from left) Phuah Wei Yuan, Phuah Wei Ke and Phuah Wei Deng scored a total of 13As and two Bs in their A levels.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Not only are the Phuah triplets Wei Ke, Wei Deng and Wei Yuan identical, they are also - it would seem - inseparable.

The 18-year-old boys have attended the same schools for more than a decade. They were classmates for five of those years, including the last two of their six at Raffles Institution (RI).

And yesterday, they collectively scored 13 As and two Bs for their A levels. Wei Ke, the oldest of the three by a minute, and Wei Deng both managed four As and one B, while youngest brother Wei Yuan scored five As. Their five subjects were biology, chemistry, economics, mathematics and general paper.

Currently, the trio are five weeks into their Basic Military Training at Pulau Tekong - in the same company and platoon.

"We are similar in so many ways that, initially, our classmates had difficulty telling us apart," said Wei Ke. "Even now, a few of our classmates can't tell us apart."

In school, the triplets took up ultimate frisbee as a co-curricular activity, shared class notes, worked on past years' papers together and even served as each other's wingmen on the romantic front.

Wei Deng noted: "If one of us was interested in a girl, we would help create opportunities. For instance, we would all hang out or study together so that it wouldn't be so awkward for everyone."

At home, the boys share a room in a five-room HDB flat in Woodlands. Their mother, 50, is a part-time tutor, and their elder brother, a 21-year-old polytechnic student.

Their father died five years ago. They were able to attend school with financial support through the independent school bursary and the RI scholarship.

In the months leading up to last year's A-level examination, they spent about four to 10 hours going through notes and hitting past years' papers every day.

But the Phuah brothers, who all went to Nanyang Primary School, agreed that despite spending the bulk of their time together, sibling rivalry was the least of their concerns. Wei Ke said: "We have no reason to compete. If possible, we want to excel in everything together."

All three said their grades had met their expectations.

After a lifetime together, the brothers are finally likely to go different ways.

While Wei Ke hopes to do medicine or business, brother Wei Deng is more interested in biochemistry and Wei Yuan is keen on finance.

Wei Yuan admitted that he is most at ease when he in the company of his brothers.

"It will be strange not being in the same place since we do almost everything together, but I think it is a good time for us to learn to be independent."

calyang@sph.com.sg