Manhunt Singapore began 28 years ago as a modeling contest centered on looks. But now, organizers say the pageant aims to look for Singapore’s “ideal man”—one who has more than just looks, but also has talent and passion to achieve goals.
One contestant is aspiring to do an undergraduate degree in law, and he has been putting in hard work and dedication to realize his ambitions. While other full-time national servicemen would spend their time away from the army camp catching up with family and friends, Ngen Ge Liang spends it studying for the UK GCE A-Level exams.
“I’m doing Law, Math, and Economics. All this is based on self-study, it’s really a lot of hard work in a sense where whenever I book out [of camp] I have to study. When I’m in camp, I also study,” he said.
Last year’s winner was also aspiring to study law. Ahead of the December finals, migme asked Ngen what he thought of male pageants and Singapore’s current affairs to see if Ngen had what it takes to be “Singapore’s ideal man” and win.
Watch the video interview here:
I know most people do law, because it’s a fabulous job and pays well. For me, I can’t say it’s passion, but it’s something that has really sparked interest in me. One day I picked up a law book— I don’t usually read, and I started reading—I told myself, ‘Hey, why not try the most boring subject in the world?’ according to everyone, because it’s tough. And I realized I enjoyed it.
What do you think is the value of a male pageant in today’s society?
A male pageant personifies what a male is supposed to be. I’m not saying all the guys who are here are, but for me, I think they all are pageant material. So you have to be good looking, have a good physique, and a good personality. Coming here helps me to improve myself.
What values should the winner of Manhunt Singapore 2015 embody?
Definitely have to be headstrong, it’s all about pushing yourself through, being disciplined, overcoming adversities, have a fighting spirit. It’s not just gathering here and looking fab in front of the camera. It’s more like getting to know yourself better. At the end of it, it’s really to show what it’s like to be himself. Male pageants shouldn’t be, “This is the ideal man,” but more like, “How to be the ideal me.” For me, I’d like to work on just being a better person.
What do you think about the results for the most recent General Election (September 2015) in Singapore?
I think it shows the unity of Singapore, which is really hard to get. Our late forefather Lee Kuan Yew, all he wanted was everyone to be united. Having this election shows that Singapore is a lot more united, that we all believe in PAP more. Shows that we have a stronger symbol. Like when people talk about Singapore, it’s like oh PAP, the white shirt. Like when people talk about Manhunt, they go like, “Hey, this guy, the winner, the male.”
A lot of people were vocal about their support for opposition parties on social media, but PAP still won most of the seats. What are your thoughts about that?
Obviously, I think you have to challenge the government, if not, how’re you going to improve. Like Manhunt, if you join just for fun, then ask yourself, how can you improve yourself? Having an opposition shows that Singaporeans also want a change; I also want a change, but this doesn’t mean I don’t support the PAP—I support PAP, but I’m also not legal to vote. I’m only 20, so I don’t really follow it. But having change is really important.
They’re currently reshuffling the cabinet now. Can you name me three ministers you think should have a seat?
This is a good question, but I can’t answer that because during the whole election process I was outfield [in the army]. I couldn’t really follow the elections as much as I wanted to, so it’s very hard. I can’t answer that.
What do you think of his answers? Pass or fail?