Mr Brown has this post on "compulsory" attendance in University Functions.
I wonder if it has occured to the writer that he could very well just ignore it and not go. What is the worst thing that could happen? Kick you out of NUS? or put a little cross in your dossier? Rap a ruler on your palms? Who the hell cares?
I feel fellow Singaporean students are too afraid of what might happen to them if they do things like this. We have this fear of having this mythical "black mark".
If your School gives you a "black mark" just because you have to attend a degree awarding ceremony of a person who happened to be born in a royal family, then I am sure the School is the wrong one for you.
I am sure the worst thing that could happen is that the school will learn not to choose you for school functions, and that is not necessary a bad thing.
If you are a University student, some degree of rational thought is expected. Please do not believe this "black mark" bullcrap. There is more important things to worry about in life than this.
The next time it happens to you, do this:
Don't go. (Unless its your own convocation)
You are an adult, make your own choices. No one can force you. And nothing's gonna happen to you.