Thursday, May 28, 2015Thursday, May 28, 2015

Once rejected from joining it, Mr Sun Lai Fong is now president of the Singapore Hui Ann Association

Businessman is first new Chinese immigrant to lead old clan body here

Published on Aug 18, 2014 7:10 AM
Mr Sun Lai Fong, who hails from Hui'an county in Fujian, was once turned away by the Singapore Hui Ann Association because he was not a Singapore citizen then. He went on to obtain his citizenship in 1985. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

When Mr Sun Lai Fong left his native Hui'an county in Fujian province to work here in 1981, he headed straight to the Singapore Hui Ann Association in Geylang.

Then 26 and alone, he planned to seek the help and support of his fellow clansmen in Singapore. But he was turned away because he was not a citizen here.

Disappointed but not deterred, he went back to his $13-a-day job as a construction worker to support his wife and three young daughters back home. But he vowed he would join the association some day.

More than three decades later, the 59-year-old boss of a construction firm - a Singapore citizen now - is president of the 90-year-old association.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!