Manhunt Singapore contestant defies the odds
He has overcome extreme adversity to get to where he is today.
On Tuesday (Sept 22), at Mr Ngen Ge Liang's passing out parade, he graduated to become a sergeant from a Mono-intake.
This is a big feat, as most of the 200 recruits from a Mono-intake battalion usually only go on to be corporals.
Mono-intake refers to enlistment directly to a military unit instead of doing your Basic Military Training (BMT) at Pulau Tekong Camp Basic Military Training Centre.
As Mr Ngen celebrated at the parade, he was also reminded of the hardship that he has had to endure in the past.
His parents never got married and separated when he was just eight. That was when he went to live with his dad.
Even going out for meals with classmates was hard
Life was comfortable then. His father was a property agent who owned two houses.
But the senior made a series of unsound investments, putting the family in a bad financial state.
Said Mr Ngen, 20:
“From being well-to-do, suddenly, I had no money overnight.
“Life was difficult as I found it hard to do simple things like go out for meals with my secondary school classmates after school. I took up part-time jobs like working in a restaurant to get by.”
At one point, they had to sell their house. Mr Ngen stayed with his aunt while his dad went to live with his friends.
Being separated from his father was extremely difficult. He didn’t ask his mum for financial help then as he did not wish to “trouble” her, he added.
Mother and son hardly meet these days as they are not close.
Thankfully, Mr Ngen’s father eventually recouped his losses and they have a much more comfortable life now. Nevertheless, Mr Ngen hopes to be the one providing for his dad soon.
After taking his A-levels privately next June, he hopes to become a family lawyer so that he can help others in similar situations.
“I joined Manhunt because I wanted to meet the organiser, Mr Samuel Seow, who is a lawyer himself.
“I feel that knowing him will stand me in good stead in the future when I decide to pursue the law profession.”