A Happy Mothers’ Day to All Mums Out There
It has once again been a while since I last blogged as I was a little busy with my work and other commitments.
Since it is Mothers’ Day today, I shall write about my life story as a tribute to my mum, especially after visiting a senior’s family today, while on Silver Generation Ambassador duty as I felt that the jobless son should not feel so defeated about life in Singapore, just because there are many difficulties that the family has to overcome.
I was born prematurely at 7 months after my mum had slipped while mopping the floor and was sent to the hospital the next day. When I was born, I stayed in the incubator for 6 months due to my light weight. I was diagnosed with swelling in the brain that affected the movement of my limbs. The doctor was supposed to operate on my brain, but the swelling miraculously subsided after she chanted at the advice of a stranger she met at the hospital. Since then, she became a firm believer of Singapore Soka Association because of this miracle. It is because of this, Paul is a believer of this religion.
Paul had not been able to walk on his own, therefore his family decided to let him undergo his first operation when he was 4 years old. He did well, but was not able to squat. Another decision was taken by his family to have a second operation done when he was 6 years old to correct this. This operation was done in Brunei, as his dad was based there at that time.
I did not attend kindergarten in Singapore and went straight to Primary 1. I was looked after by my maternal grandmother until I was 12, when she passed away due to illness. In the 1st year in primary school, he had been carried by the school janitor to the toilet whenever he needs to do his toilet business.
Domestic help came in after that, as the helper assisted my family and bringing me to school. When I reached the end of Secondary 2, the helper suggested that I should go to school on my own since it is within walking distance from my house. Therefore, I started going school on my own and started my independent journey. I even had my first ECA in my school life as a member of the Interact Club
The 1st setback I encountered was in 1995, where I flunked my O Levels and had to repeat it at my Secondary School the following year. I was surprised that I was able to bounce back and get into Accountancy course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic upon appeal written by my Secondary School teacher.
My polytechnic life was the start of where I started receiving help from bus captains, as they always keep a lookout for seats for me as I boarded the bus. This also kindled my interest about bus rides and the bus routes as I started to enjoy my bus rides. I am eternally thankful to these bus captains as they are still helping me today, 20 years after I graduated.
I had to serve NS as a clerk, despite my disability and I was bullied by some officers during my 2.5 year stint in there. However, I was fortunate that one officer, who stayed around the same estate as me, offered to ferry me to camp at no charges whenever his work schedule permits. The other officer, decided not to roster me for reservist training when I did my ORD clearance. Although the NS stint did change my outlook in life in not to trust people too much.
The challenge of hunting for a job after NS was a tough one for me as prospective employers minded my physical disability, even though I was only seeking a desk bound job with my diploma. In the end, I lasted 6 months in my 1st job as tax assistant. I am grateful for the manager who trained me up, but not with the other manager who demands too much from me. I did not expect the next job to come only 6 months later in the same industry. This was the job that started my interest in helping the people, as I did not want to forget what I was taught in school, therefore decided to help out as an IRAS volunteer, to help people e-file their taxes. I did not expect the love for this to last so long and branched out to other areas too.
My love for singing started when I started this job of mine 10 years ago. This was because, my previous job did not allow me to have much time for myself. I was doing my ACCA on a part time basis at that time too. Although I did not manage to complete in the end, I was thankful for my bosses for signing my SIATP certification, certifying me as an accredited tax professional. I did not expect to be handed the leadership of the singing group, but it has been a great feeling to run the group and making friends with common interest.
All these will not be possible, if not for my mum’s strong support and faith in me, letting me have the confidence to do things on my own despite my disability.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish her a Happy Mothers’ Day.