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A reminder to keep an open mind to 'oddballs'

The article on Singaporean ad man James Chua was interesting (Proving even his parents wrong; Aug 13).

Mr Chua clearly doesn't fit into the conventional Singaporean mould of talent, vis-a-vis straight-A academic excellence.

His is an unconventional talent and it is reassuring to know that opportunities abound in Singapore for the likes of him to succeed and find fulfilment in life.

There is indeed a fine line between juvenile delinquent and unconventional talent.

Kudos to the educators at Tampines Junior College for not writing off Mr Chua as an "oddball" juvenile delinquent back in the day.

Singapore could have lost not only a local creative talent and champion of digital marketing, but also the opportunity for a Singapore company to be the exclusive representative agent in Asia for the highly talented British architectural artist Stephen Wiltshire.

May this be a reminder to us all to always keep an open mind to the different kinds of talents among us.

Nurturing and tapping these talents could serve as a valuable resource as Singapore continues to find creative ways to deepen innovation-capability building, increase productivity, move up the value chain, and achieve greater synergies so as to make Singapore a better and more vibrant home for all of us, and we can become truly much greater than the sum of our parts.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 20, 2017, with the headline 'A reminder to keep an open mind to 'oddballs''. Print Edition | Subscribe