WHY MUST EMPHASIZE PRESIDENT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT IS TAXI DRIVER SON?

Dear A.S.S. Editor

I wonder what the purpose of the Straits Times was, when they reported about the five young Singaporeans being awarded the prestigious President’s Scholarship. Why must trumpet that one of the recipients, Mr Lee Tat Wei, is a son of a taxi driver?

Granted, maybe the writer wanted to show that ordinary, average Singaporeans can also be awarded the most prestigious of awards, that these awards are not only meant for the elites. But, it is in poor taste. The headlines make it seem like a taxi driver’s son will struggle to make ends meet, and thus, to be awarded this is like a godsend. Sample the news – “Mr Lee Tat Wei lives in a four-room flat in Woodlands. He and his older brother went to neighbourhood schools. His father is a taxi driver and his mother works as a part- time sales assistant.” Seems like an elitist writing this paragraph, yes?

We have to get over this mindset that kids living in HDB flats, go to neighbourhood schools, and father is a taxi driver, while mother is a part time sales assistant looks like he hit the jackpot getting the prestigious award. Face it, anyone can be successful, no matter your background. It is how much you want it, and how you work hard for it, not because you come from a financially well off family or not.

And since when living in a four room HDB flat and going to neighbourhood schools is a humble background?

Disgruntled Taxi Driver

A.S.S. Contributor

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