Man of the Hour: Professor Kua Harn Wei
Semester 1 of AY21/22. The fourth semester of living with Covid, also marking the end of the beloved Dr Ng Kah Loon’s tenure as Kent Ridge Hall's Hall Master, and the start of a fresh new Kent Ridge era under Dr Kua.
Many seniors have come to know and love Dr Ng as our leader, role model, and even friend, giving us many of our unforgettable memories in our hall lives. Yet, not much is known about Dr Kua, a mysterious new figure taking over the mantle.
However, as one legend departs, the time for a new hall master has come to leave his very own legacy. In this exclusive interview, we find out more about the man himself, and the vision he has for Kent Ridge Hall!
Biography of Dr Kua courtesy of Red Sports in 2008. Do the math and you can get his current age!
How do you find KR as a hall so far as compared to Raffles Hall? (For those who don’t already know, Dr Kua was an RF in Raffles Hall)
Ahh, this is something that I have shared with JCRC before. Every hall is different, what I find to be very distinct between KR and RH is that the students are obviously very different. Because all of you come from different schools, different faculties. It’s really lively here and of course very active…
I’m not saying that Raffles is not active, it’s just that the feeling that I get here is quite different. But it’s a dynamic place, definitely, with students from faculties and schools which are quite different from Raffles Hall.
… So louder in general?
I guess all of you are loud no matter where you are from haha, and I think that most of you are loud in a good way, not in a destructive manner, so I’m not so disturbed by that.
From your observations so far have you noticed anything unique about Kent Ridgeans in general?
I would say that I’m still trying to feel my way around, it’s only been two weeks, so I guess that in the weeks to come, I would have a better and more accurate feeling about this place as well as of all of you. So far, I would say my experience has been a positive one! 😊
(Remember guys, it's been 6 weeks now so let's make sure Dr Kua's experience is going to continue being positive!!!)
What do you wish to see in Kent Ridgeans?
It didn’t take me long to notice that all of you are very dedicated to what you are doing, just like you with your Hall CCA! Additionally, I think that in the weeks to come, I expect to see more activities coming online and more of you devoting your time to these CCAs.
But what I also want all of you to remember, apart from your studies and Hall CCAs, is also to look beyond Kent Ridge, since Kent Ridge is a part of NUS which has a lot of opportunities. So, you guys should look beyond and see whether KR can act as a bridge between you guys and the rest of NUS, and even Singapore.
(speaking of CCAs... please don't play golf though according to his bio)
What kind of culture do you want KR to have/be known for?
First of all, we should always be a role model for people through our creativity and energy, and I have no doubt that we are able to do that. In fact, before I even came to KR, it has always appeared to be one of the most talked-about halls and I think that this is definitely due to all the students and past batches of SCRC who have contributed to building this culture.
Moving forward, I hope that we can improve on this image and simultaneously grow the reputation that we are not just about ourselves. This is through helping other people, such as the less fortunate, and not just focus on how to have fun.
… like look beyond ourselves as a hall?
Yes, like what I always say, try to always fight for a cause bigger than yourself, I believe that all of us have the potential to do that.
Fun Fact: Dr Kua is easily the fittest man in hall, even putting it to good use to help the community! Truly a role model for us all.
What goals do you have as the new Hall Master of KR? (Perhaps for IHG, or the retainment rate, given that many seniors have decided to pull out of hall because of the effect of Covid on hall life?)
I won’t go into the specifics since their reason for the pulling out was clearly due to external circumstances. However, going forward, I can see that thing should become less restrictive with the easing up of measures, and we should be able to have more events coming up.
Following the easing of measures, I hope that we can do whatever we can to get back the dynamism of the old days, and hopefully this will make all of us feel more motivated to be part of the hall culture again. Having said that, I hope that most if not all of you adhere to the SMMs, because it’s not over yet, we are still fighting the virus. So, let’s keep ourselves safe, while doing whatever we can to develop our culture, and make full use of our time.
Do you eat hall dinner and how much do you rate it out of 10?
(laughs) I don’t really eat hall dinner much anymore, but I rate it a 6/10.
That makes hall food almost as good as Subway at YIH, so save money and just eat!
Thank you for giving us some of your precious time to do this interview, Dr Kua. Do you have any final messages for Kent Ridgeans?
It’s the same message that I have shared before: let KR be a place where you develop yourselves to the fullest, given the uncontrollable situation that we are in; always learn to appreciate what you have because not everybody gets the chance to stay in hall in university.
Lastly, try to fight for a cause bigger than yourselves, don’t just think about what you can gain or enjoy – rather, think about “what can I learn, so that I can contribute to the society?” and help those people who are less fortunate.
Let us all warmly welcome Dr Kua to Kent Ridge Hall. And remember guys, don’t make too much noise so that he can rest well for his future triathlons!