Inspiring tales of heroes who truly give and live

Mr Yap Tat Ming (left) won a pair of NDP tickets after writing about his mentor Richard Lim, a former drug addict who set up a shelter in Myanmar for orphans.
Mr Yap Tat Ming (left) won a pair of NDP tickets after writing about his mentor Richard Lim, a former drug addict who set up a shelter in Myanmar for orphans.PHOTO: COURTESY OF YAP TAT MING

A hero is one who extends a helping hand to not just his own family, but also to strangers around him.

Mr Sim Kwang Seng, 58, was moved when he saw a cleaner at a food centre give away hard-earned money to a disabled beggar and a handicapped busker.

So when he saw The Straits Times' call for entries to a competition prompting readers to write in with stories on their Singapore heroes, he decided to share his story of the cleaner.

"I have never really spoken to him, but I often see him at the food centre. From the few instances that I've seen, he's so kind-hearted. I'm sure he has done a lot more," said Mr Sim, who calls the cleaner "uncle" as he does not know his name.

Mr Sim, a retiree, was among the 25 winners who each won a pair of tickets to the National Day Parade (NDP) today.

"When you talk about heroes, you think of the high-calibre people," he said. "This uncle must be over 60 and he can't walk steadily. But witnessing his kindness to others, it was quite amazing."

Mr Yap Tat Ming, 48, who works in a bank, also won a pair of tickets.

He had written about his mentor and friend Richard Lim, a former drug addict in his 60s who set up a shelter in Myanmarfor orphans and underprivileged children.

Mr Yap said: "A true hero is any ordinary man who has the courage to shed his past and conquer the impossible. It hasn't been easy to sustain the shelter and not any ordinary Singaporean would do that."

 

Mr Yap plans to go to the NDP with his wife. He said Mr Lim suffered a stroke four years ago and has difficulties moving around, and may not be able to attend the parade.

Mr Yap said: "One thing he taught me is that you never really live until you truly give."

Fellow winner Kiong Choon Meng, 62, who sells coffee beans at a market, nominated founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as his hero, because under his care, the elderly Singaporeans saw progress in their lives.

He intends to give his tickets to an elderly couple from a nursing home where he does volunteer work. Said Mr Kiong: "I gave them a call earlier to tell them the good news and they were very excited."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2018, with the headline 'Inspiring tales of heroes who truly give and live'. Print Edition | Subscribe