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Launch of "Light on a Hill: The ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute Story 1968–2018"

30 November 2018, SingaporeMinister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung, officially launched the 50th anniversary commemorative book of ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) entitled, “LIGHT ON A HILL: THE ISEAS – YUSOF ISHAK INSTITUTE STORY 1968-2018”,  this afternoon at an event attended by more than 100 guests from academia, government, diplomatic community, private sector and media.

Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director of ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute delivering his address (Credit: ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute)

The 287–page book chronicled 50 years of the Institute’s many changes and phases of development, including many anecdotes which are not known to many. Of these, Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director of ISEAS said in his address at the event, “This project has revealed various interesting facets of the evolution of ISEAS over the last five decades, many of which would not have crossed our minds if we had just focused on the present in our daily work.”   One of the anecdotes highlighted by Mr Choi was the initial suspicion of the Indonesian government on the formation of ISEAS and how the director at that time, Prof Josef Silverstein, managed to turn the suspicion around with an invitation to the Indonesian Ambassador to visit ISEAS and see for themselves the work being done here.

Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director of ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute and Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman, ISEAS Board of Trustees presenting the newly launched LIGHT ON A HILL to Minister Ong Ye Kung (Credit: ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute)

From left to right, Ms Cassandra Chew, Minister Ong Ye Kung and Professor Wang Gungwu (Credit: ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute)

A group photo with the audience after the launch (Credit: ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute)

Quotes from “Light on A Hill”

“By applying a local lens to its research, ISEAS provides insights on various pressing developments and challenges in Southeast Asia that were especially important to Singapore.”
- Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Message in “Light on A Hill”)

“This book is a commemoration of its 50 year journey and its relationship with the region. It is a record of the searching questions ISEAS has asked and the work of numerous researchers and scholars who have pass through its doors.”
- Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman of ISEAS Board of Trustees (Foreword in “Light on A Hill”)


The book is available for sale ($49.90 excluding GST) at ISEAS Bookshop or online at https://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/publication/2359


1. Address by Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director of ISEAS
2. Message by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education
3. Media Coverage
4. Unveiling Video