ST subscriber wins trip for two to Margaret River worth $10,000

Mr Lai Sze Hai participates in the ST+ news with benefits contests regularly and previously won a sleepover at S.E.A. Aquarium. He took along his daughters and mother.
Mr Lai Sze Hai participates in the ST+ news with benefits contests regularly and previously won a sleepover at S.E.A. Aquarium. He took along his daughters and mother.ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ

SINGAPORE - Mr Lai Sze Hai, 43, may have won a four-day trip for two to Margaret River worth $10,000, but to him, that reward is "just the icing on the cake".

To enter the contest, he had to share with The Straits Times why he thought he deserved a trip to Australia to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences at the Western Australia Gourmet Escape festival, which his prize package includes tickets to.

He posed the question to his elder daughter, Fion Lai, 15, who was full of praise for her father.

"Fion thanked me for all the little things that hadn't even occurred to me, like always making sure she and her sister eat first, or sponging her when she has a fever. As a parent, I think these actions just come naturally because you want the best for your children," Mr Lai said.

"She brought me to tears with her appreciation," added the civil servant. "As a single dad having brought my daughters up to become the mature young ladies they are today, I felt that I had already won the best prize ever."

Mr Lai, who has been a Straits Times subscriber for many years, begins his day by reading the newspaper and highlighting articles he thinks may interest his daughters.

Fion and Dion, 13, her younger sister, are animal lovers who enjoy reading up about the environment and conservation.

Mr Lai participates in the ST+ news with benefits contests regularly and previously won a sleepover at S.E.A. Aquarium. He took along his daughters and mother.

This time, he will be purchasing an extra ticket so he can bring both daughters along with him on the trip.

His daughters are especially excited to visit Australia, famed for its kangaroos, koala bears and other wildlife.

 
 
 

They have already started planning their itinerary, including activities like a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park which they hope to squeeze in between the Western Australia Gourmet Escape festival events.

The girls are also eager to attend culinary workshops hosted at the festival.

Asked if he is a foodie himself, Mr Lai chuckled and said: "As long as it fills my stomach, I don't really bother about what I eat. But I will take my loved ones to eat the food that they love."

Personally, he is looking forward to spending more quality time with his daughters on the trip.

He and his daughters will also continue their tradition of penning daily reflections in a travel journal and ending the trip with a postcard addressed back to themselves.

"It is just a reminder for us to be grateful for each moment we have together, wherever we may be," said Mr Lai.