It didn’t take me long to realize what an extraordinary influence my father has been in my life. A caring son, responsible parent and disciplined entrepreneur, he is also a strong role model from whom I developed my principles, values and perspectives in life.
As a child, I have been blessed with many privileges. My father, on the other hand, experienced a childhood that was not as smooth sailing. My grandfather was addicted to gambling and did nothing towards supporting the household. As such, my father had to take up additional responsibilities, selling prawn fritters daily after school, just to ease the family’s financial burden which would otherwise be solely on my grandmother. This humble and rough beginning spurred his independence and devotion towards securing a better future for my family, which was what truly inspired me. I was motivated to work hard and be independent, just like him. Upon graduation from secondary school, I committed to a job as a Sales Assistant, to have a glimpse of what the working world is like and most importantly, to learn to be independent and provide for myself. However, ashamed to say, I have only accomplished a small fraction of what my father has done in his early years. Nevertheless, I envision myself to one day be as self-reliant and independent as he is.
Although my father did not possess high educational qualifications, with a positive mindset and determination to overcome the challenges that surfaced, he succeeded in building up his business as a sole proprietor. Being the youngest child, I was often sheltered and did not face much hardship. However, as I matured, my father encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and face challenges with a positive and open mind. Hence, I decided to embark on a journey as a cadet of the National Cadet Corps in Secondary School. Despite the intense and exhausting trainings pushing me to my limits, my optimism held me on and I was not willing to surrender in the face of adversity. Having a close relationship with my father, I often look up to him for advice. Hearing about my father’s experiences as a cadet leader in the St. John Ambulance Brigade, it spurred me on to stretch my potential and resilience. In Secondary Four, I was appointed as the Alpha Platoon Commander and tasked to orientate the newly-joined junior cadets. My unwavering determination to do my best in fulfilling my duties allowed me to lead my platoon to achieve greater heights, clinching the 1st Position in the NCC Best Unit Competition. Without my father’s constant motivation and advice, I would not be as strong-willed and driven as I am today.
My father’s commitment and responsibility extended beyond his family, towards his career. As a fire-protection specialist, his job serves a useful purpose to ensure the safety of people and infrastructure. He would elatedly share that the fire-protection systems in the building are designed by him whenever we pass by / come across such a building. His beaming passion and pride for his job inspired me to explore my purpose in life and where my passion lies. With this aim in mind, I decided to join the House Committee, taking up the role of a student leader to serve the College. As Sports Captain of the House Committee, I was given the opportunity to organize and execute key college events such as sports competitions and Orientation for the freshmen. The constant pressure to meet the tight deadlines and suggest innovative ideas in the event proposals were challenging and demanding as it required a high level of commitment. Occasionally, my father would give me ideas for the events we were organizing. The deep sense of accomplishment I felt when I successfully executed the events motivated me and increased my passion to serve the college. My father’s constant motivation allowed me to achieve beyond what I initially thought was possible, which built up my passion to serve others.
He is a great father.