Mr Koh Hee Huat, the subject of Miss Universe Singapore 2013 finalist Jesslyn Tan’s mockery a week ago, has hit back at her comments about his ‘holey’ shirt.
Ms Tan had posted a Facebook post mocking the 55-year-old’s attire while he was sleeping on the MRT, accompanying it was the caption: “Holey moley. Sibei trendy worzxxz”. The post went viral, receiving critisms about her insensitivity.
She has since apologised and has taken down the post.
Speaking to MyPaper at Ye Shanghai Teochew Muay stall in Bukit Merah View where he works, Mr Koh said that what she did was ‘wuliao’. ‘Wuliao’ means meaningless, or lame, in Mandarin.
“There was no need for her to take a photograph of me while I was sleeping,” he said.
According to MyPaper, Mr Koh has worked at the porridge stall for the past 20 years, taking the MRT from his home in Woodlands — an hour-long commute.
He works from 5pm to 3.30am daily, taking orders and dishing out food.
“I work long hours so I can put my daughter through school,” said Mr Koh, whose daughter is about to start school at a polytechnic in Singapore.
When asked if he has changed his attire because of the incident, the humble worker said he did not think that throwing out every shirt with a hole in it is practical.
Since the controversy erupted, he has received words of encouragement from many of his regular customers and is “grateful for their support”.
“I am thankful to the customers, netizens and MPs for their kind words,” he said.
MP Indranee RajahHe had spoken up for the man, saying that he “may not be sibei trendy, but he is definitely ‘sibei ho'”.
When contacted by MyPaper reporters, the beauty queen had declined to comment.