PETALING JAYA: A 23-year-old Malaysian has emerged as the top student in his final-year law examinations at Cambridge University.
Tan Zhongshan (pic) obtained a first-class honours in the Bachelor of Arts (Law) in June this year at Queens’ College, which is part of the university, one of England’s oldest and most prestigious.
He even scored the “Slaughter and May” prize given by the university’s Law Faculty – an award given to those who achieve the best overall performance in the final-year law examinations.
Other coveted prizes he bagged include The Norton Rose Prize for Commercial Law, the Clifford Chance Prize for European Union Law and the Herbert Smith Prize for Conflict of Laws.
Queens’ College dean Dr Martin Dixon said Tan definitely stood out among the students there.
“He is probably the best Malaysian student I have seen in the last 10 years,” said Dr Dixon, who taught Tan on Land and Equity for two years.
“He is the most able, dedicated and one of the most likeable students I have taught in more than 20 years at Cambridge.”
Tan, he said, was also a great help to fellow students.
“He works really hard, has great insight and intuition. He is a problem-solver, listens well and learns,” he said.
Tan was modest about his achievements. “It was a pleasant surprise as it is hard to predict the end results,” said the Ipoh-born, who has been in Singapore since August.
On his secret to success, he attributed it to “consistent work and a detailed understanding of the subjects”.
The classical guitar player is not done yet. He will pursue his Bar exams, expected to be completed by end of 2011, in Singapore.
“I will also join the Singapore Legal Service in January,” said Tan, who was awarded an Asean scholarship by Singapore’s Ministry of Education after completing his A-Levels at the Temasek Junior College there.
On his reasons in pursuing a law degree, he said, “Being in the legal line gives you a chance to make changes that have a far-reaching effect.”
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