Mother, 56, is an NDP veteran and son, 27, joins her for the first time in bank contingent

Ms Lim Keen Hong has participated in the NDP three times as part of the DBS Bank contingent, but this year will be the first time for her son Justin Wong.
Ms Lim Keen Hong has participated in the NDP three times as part of the DBS Bank contingent, but this year will be the first time for her son Justin Wong.PHOTO: NDP EXCO

SINGAPORE - They work in the same bank, live under the same roof and are now marching together in the same National Day Parade (NDP).

Ms Lim Keen Hong has participated  in the NDP three times as part of the DBS Bank contingent, but it is the maiden effort for her son, Justin Wong, 27.

Mr Wong dismisses any notion that his mother pushed him into it.

"I thought about all the times my mother did doing this, and it always seemed be a good experience for her so I wanted to try it out as well," said the analyst in the bank's risk management group.

Ms Lim, 56,  responded with a smile: "I didn't know he signed up. A mother cannot force her son to do such things."

But it took Mr Wong some time to appreciate why his mother, a vice-president in DBS' institutional banking group, chose to take part in NDP, beginning in 2012.

He said: "At first I couldn't get why she was spending 16 Saturdays a year at rehearsals... I couldn't understand why she would put herself through this,

"But then spotting her on television on National Day was always a proud moment for our family."

Mr Wong, whose 55-year-old father is an engineer, said: "I thought to myself, 'Why not? Let's just give it a try.' I never had the chance to be part of this and represent my company and nation."

Ms Lim quipped: "My take is that he also took part to take care of me, because he knew I would be here again. He won't admit it though!"

Asked to elaborate, she said that her son would bring her water, carry her bag and constantly check on her during rehearsals.

Ms Lim leads the bank's contingent while Mr Wong is its reserve commander. Though they do not appear on stage at the same time during the parade, they are rehearsing together.

Mr Wong said: "If I'm getting impatient with the practice, she will be there to remind me that we have to stay professional because we're representing not just ourselves as individuals, but our organisation and the nation. So we have to get our routine and drills spot on."

Speaking at the F1 Pit Building last Saturday (July 21), both mother and son said that taking part in the nine rehearsals, each lasting for 12 hours, has brought them closer.

Mr Wong said: "We have never really worked on anything together in such close capacity."

Laughing, Ms Lim jumped in: "He means being stuck with his mum."

Then she added: "Being a youngster he has his life - he will go to work, and so will I. And even when we go on holiday it will be for no more than two weeks,

"This, on the other hand, is every Saturday from 9.30am to 9.30pm," she said.

"Our communication is now more open and relaxed," Ms Lim said. "Our bond is stronger."