Boy steps up to fill roles of son, brother, and even father
The Mindef/SAF Scholarship Awards ceremony was held yesterday at the Istana, where scholarships were given to 43 students. DAVID SUN (firstname.lastname@example.org) speaks to two recipients
When his father left the family about eight years ago, he retreated into silence.
He was only in primary school then, and his parents' divorce hurt him a lot more than it did his mother.
But he soon realised that she and his sister needed him, and stepped up to fill the role of son, brother, and even father.
Midshipman Aloysius Oh, now 19, was 11 years old when he made the decision to be the man of the house.
He said: "My biggest challenge was stepping up as a father figure to my younger sister."
His sister, now 15, looks up to him as a role model.
MID Oh attended his sister's parent-teacher meetings in place of their father, made time to see her choir performances, and always kept himself in check to ensure he was an inspiration to her.
"I had to forgo some activities and outings with friends because I wanted to spend time with my sister," he said.
"It was more of a father-daughter relationship, and it was tough balancing everything."
His mother, Madam Christina Ang, 45, works as an accountant for multiple companies.
She said: "My daughter listens more to him, and he is stricter with her than I am.
"When I want to tell her something, I get him to do it."
She said her son was very mature from a young age, and took it upon himself to look after the family.
"When his dad left, it really hurt him emotionally, a lot more than it did me," she said.
"But he felt that he had a responsibility to look after his sister and even me, his mother."
MID Oh was one of the recipients of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Scholarship awarded at the Istana yesterday, and will be studying psychology at University College London.
He said he was happy to get the scholarship as he was gunning for a career in the military. But he also hopes it will give his mother some leeway.
"She works at least two jobs, and I hope that with the money that she initially saved up for my education, she will be able to work just one job and use the money for my sister instead," he said.
"I hope this will help offload some of her financial burden."
Madam Ang, who was at the awards ceremony yesterday, said she believes he will go far.
"I am very proud of him, and touched by all that he has struggled through for the family," she said.
"He would always keep his Sundays free, just so we could spend time together as a family.
"I am truly blessed to have him as a son."
If each generation shows the same unwavering determination to take up the duty of defending Singapore, I am confident that we will be able to confront uncertainties with courage and resilience, and emerge stronger as a nation.
- Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, in his speech at the Mindef/SAF Scholarship Awards Ceremony at the Istana yesterday
Love of flight propels her to air force career
GOING UP: Officer Cadet Goh Si Ying will become an RSAF officer once she has completed training. - TNP PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA
When she was younger, she was fascinated by airplanes and considered a career in the air force.
Now, that dream has come true for Officer Cadet Goh Si Ying, 18, who became one of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Merit Scholarship recipients yesterday.
She will be studying psychology in King's College London and will become a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) officer once she has completed her training.
"When I was younger, my grandmother used to buy me toy planes to assemble," she said.
"I was fascinated with the concept of flight."
Her passion died in secondary school, but was reignited when someone from the RSAF shared his experience with her in junior college.
"I was passionate about aerospace again and I wanted to defend the country," she said.
"So I enlisted and found that I really liked it," said OCT Goh, who has finished basic military training and is in the middle of her Officer Cadet training.
She said she was happy to receive the scholarship and looks forward to a dynamic career in the RSAF.