Eight awarded prestigious SAF Overseas Scholarship at Istana

Becoming an ecologist might have seemed the natural path for 19-year-old nature enthusiast Jonathon Loh, but he instead opted for a career with another sort of green - the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

Officer cadet Loh was one of eight who was awarded the prestigious SAF Overseas Scholarship in a ceremony on Monday at the Istana. They were presented their awards by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Mr Loh, who will be reading ecology and environmental biology at Imperial College in the United Kingdom, said that while nature was his passion, the opportunities he would get in the SAF to hone his leadership abilities made him decide to "take on defending my country as my career."

The former Raffles Institution student said that he has always been "committed to serving in the civil service", and that defending Singapore is a core part of that.

Since 1971, the SAFOS scholarship has been awarded to 292 officer cadets. Notable past recipients include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean.