In an opinion piece on Forbes on 19 December, Professor Chung Chi-Nien from NUS Business School discussed three enduring myths about family firms, showing through research that at least two of the myths are not backed up by scientific evidence. A myth about family firms being a minority among businesses to eventually be replaced by professionally-managed “modern” firms is not borne out by facts that show the majority of business units worldwide are family-controlled. Another myth — that family firms are short-lived and cannot last more than three generations — was dispelled when Prof Chung highlighted long-lasting family firms in Asia, Europe and the US.
Tan Jun Xiang, a Year 2 student at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, was featured in The Straits Times on 21 December as someone who took the less-travelled path to medical school. Scoring only 181 points in the Primary School Leaving Examination, Jun Xiang needed his parents to appeal for him to enter the school of his choice — Ang Mo Kio Secondary School. This was the start of his journey to academic distinction. The Normal (Academic) student topped his school cohort and gained a place in the biomedical science faculty at Singapore Polytechnic. Intrigued by the human body and diseases, he realised he wanted to be a doctor.
Assistant Professor Sin Harng Luh from NUS Geography wrote in a Channel NewsAsia commentary on 23 December that quality time with families did not necessitate spending on expensive holidays or activities. In fact, she said that ideal family bonding time could be time spent on mundane and ostensibly irrelevant activities such as relaxing by the pool side, family suppers or simply having the entire family squeeze into one bed at night.
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