A bid to help those with dyslexia

Mr Kwee's winning bid of $11,000 got him a signed copy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's book My Lifelong Challenge at yesterday's auction.
Mr Kwee's winning bid of $11,000 got him a signed copy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's book My Lifelong Challenge at yesterday's auction.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Twenty years ago, Singapore's founding prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, revealed he had dyslexia.

He later wrote a book, My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey, on the country's bilingual education programme and his personal struggles to learn the Chinese language.

Yesterday, an autographed copy of the book was won in an auction for $11,000 at the 25th Anniversary Charity Dinner for the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS).

The winning bidder, Mr Kevin Kwee, 46, a director in the hospitality industry, said: "It's a good cause to support." The sports fan noted that former Formula One driver Jackie Stewart also had dyslexia.

He intends to pass on the book to his daughters.

Dyslexia is characterised by difficulty in learning language and cognition. It affects skills needed for accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

The association helps children cope through classes that teach them phonics, vocabulary and reading comprehension.

At the dinner, held at the Hotel Jen Tanglin, DAS chief executive Lee Siang announced that the association would be expanding its programmes and financial support to post-secondary school students and young adults in institutes of higher learning.

Previously, only pre-school, primary and secondary school children attended the classes at the association's 13 centres.

The funding for this new effort will come from the Jimmy Daruwalla Fund, which has raised almost $500,000. The fund was set up by the association in memory of its founding president, who died in July.

"(The new fund) will enable DAS to make significant headway towards Jimmy Daruwalla's vision of helping those with dyslexia in Singapore," Mr Lee said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'A bid to help those with dyslexia'. Print Edition | Subscribe