People

Disabled man gets green light to take driving test

Mr Michael Yap, in his specially fitted car, was paralysed after a bomb splinter ripped into his spine during World War II.
Mr Michael Yap, in his specially fitted car, was paralysed after a bomb splinter ripped into his spine during World War II.ST FILE PHOTO

Mr Michael Yap, 28, a paraplegic clinic assistant, was in the news this week in 1965 after he got the green light from the Deputy Prime Minister to take his driving test.

He had passed the theory test, but was not allowed to take the practical test in his $8,000 hand-controlled Holden car as it was deemed too heavy for him.

Mr Yap, paralysed from the waist down, was told he would be allowed to drive only an "invalid carriage" class of car, but could apply to the DPM for an exemption.

He did - and went on to pass his test in December 1965, but was told that the insurance company for his new Holden car will not cover any passengers in the car while he drives.

BODY NEEDS CARE

When a woman says something is getting on her nerves, it is actually an admission that her body is not getting the right kind of care, and is calling for sympathy.

MR LELORD KORDEL, an American nutrition expert who gave a talk in Singapore in 1965, on how refined white flour and rice products have been stripped of nutrition and are bad for the nervous system

"That means I will have to drive alone. How dull," he said.

Mr Yap, who was praised for his courage to be mobile, was taught how to drive by his brother-in-law, Mr Chua Swee Keng.

Mr Yap had become paralysed after a bomb splinter ripped into his spine when he was three years old during World War II.


 

Research by Jagjit Kaur, Information Resource Centre, Singapore Press Holdings

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'Disabled man gets green light to take driving test'. Print Edition | Subscribe