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Prof: He didn't need special treatment

Daniel's pride and eagerness to learn struck a chord with his professor in university.

"While most students are comfortable with keeping quiet at the back of the class, he was quite vocal and asked questions," said Prof Sia Siew Kien, 49, an associate professor at the Nanyang Business School. He taught Daniel Accounting Information Systems in his second year.

On a personal level, he was surprised at how easily Daniel interacted with others.

"He has a sense of humour and mixes around easily. I thought he would be less inclined to socialise, but I was wrong," he said.

Prof Sia also spoke fondly of Daniel's father.

"He would leave copies of the newspaper under our office doors or chat with us when he saw us.

"I'm touched by his dedication to his son. I have never seen a father like him before," he said.

Prof Sia said he had never needed to give Daniel special treatment.

"He never asked for it. Daniel is independent and acts in such a way that you wouldn't think of him as different - he's just like everybody else," he said.