Lee was an admirer of China’s imperial exam system used by emperors to have “the brightest” to be administrators and magistrates to help run the vast country. In Singapore, the system had worked well for decades. In one year, there were 12 former scholars in a 19-member Cabinet. But with the world, particularly Singapore, having undergone drastic political and technological changes, is the scholar system outdated? Can the ancient Chinese way of appointing leaders still have a role in building and running a modern world city?