But I'm sure that there are many other such stories out there. I gather that Xiang Ling was luckier than most in that she's had a relatively comfortable upbringing (She studied in Singapore and Hong Kong where her father worked and she's currently in UWC in British Colombia, Canada). Many other Malaysians from relatively modest backgrounds would have had the opportunities that Xiang Ling has had. Which makes their stories of academic success all the more remarkable.
A friend of mine from secondary school in Singapore is a brilliant mathematician. His father drove a taxi. He went to Imperial College in the UK on a government scholarship and could have gone to MIT to do his PhD under a Fields Medalist (the mathematics equivalent of a Nobel Prize) but had to go back to Singapore to serve his bond.
I know of another undergraduate here at Duke who is from a small paddy planting community in a rural part of Selangor. He got a scholarship to do his IB in UWC in Hong Kong and now he's in Duke, where he receives a substantial amount of financial aid.
My fellow blogger is a modest guy but his own story parallels the ones that I've put down above. Perhaps Tony should tell us a little more about his own personal story? I'm sure many out there would find it pretty inspiring :)