Writer Of The Week

Forum contributor Phillip Tan Fong Lip with his wife Winnie, son Avin and daughter-in-law Arielle. Mr Tan says he writes to the Forum to hone his mental faculties.
Forum contributor Phillip Tan Fong Lip with his wife Winnie, son Avin and daughter-in-law Arielle. Mr Tan says he writes to the Forum to hone his mental faculties.PHOTO: COURTESY OF PHILLIP TAN FONG LIP

Who: Phillip Tan Fong Lip, 66, a retiree who used to work in the human resource sector.

My family: Married to Winnie Wee, 63, a retiree who used to work in a bank.

Our son Avin, 35, is an assistant general manager of a trading company and is married to Arielle, 33.

My home: A five-room flat in Pandan Gardens.

My passions: Reading is my foremost passion, followed by travelling.

I like to read books by our beloved former prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Reading his books gives me a deep insight into socio-political issues not only in Singapore, but also the rest of the world.

As Mr Lee is no longer around, I will need to read his books at a much slower pace, or I will have no more of such wonders to read.

I started writing to the Forum page...: In 2005.

My first letter, "Better ties with Indonesia to be lauded" (Oct 11, 2005), was a salute to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for his part in fostering strong ties with our neighbour, Indonesia.

What I write about: I write on topics such as courtesy, relationships with neighbours and the conduct of Singaporeans.

Why I write: As a retiree, the foremost reason I write to the Forum page is to keep senility at bay.

Writing a letter to the Forum entails good ideas and good writing, and doing so helps me hone my mental faculties.

I still have a laminated collection of my Forum letters published since 2005.

I read the Forum page because...: My wife and I find common ground here.

We love to read letters from fellow citizens that display positive attributes, such as kindness or gallantry, while we abhor those which criticise Singaporeans unfairly.

My wish for Singapore: My wish is that Singapore will always enjoy a good relationship with its neighbours.

And in as much as we respect our neighbours, big or small, I hope they will respond in kind.

It would be mutually beneficial to all of us in the region.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2015, with the headline 'Writer Of The Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe