Individuals can succeed despite family background: PM

Individuals can succeed despite family background: PM


SINGAPORE — At 11, Ong Yong Jie understands that money is tight at home and has set his mind to work hard in school so he can provide for his family when he grows up.



SINGAPORE — At 11, Ong Yong Jie understands that money is tight at home and has set his mind to work hard in school so he can provide for his family when he grows up. He makes use of the free time before his co-curricular activities — Art and Taekwondo — to eat a quick meal and do his homework “so I can save time when I reach home and do all my necessary things such as revising homework”. His efforts have paid off. Last year, he won a bronze medal in the National Mathematical Olympiad of Singapore and a silver medal in the National Taekwondo Poomsae Championships.Yesterday, Yong Jie, who is in the top 10 per cent of his cohort, was one of the 914 recipients of the Teck Ghee Edusave Merit Bursary awards. The Townsville Primary student received three awards: The Edusave Scholarship award, Good Character award and Book Prize award.

Commending Yong Jie, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC and was Guest-of-Honour for the ceremony, said he is an example of how one can succeed, regardless of family background, as long as the person works hard.

The Government will help those who make the effort to do well, he added. “Regardless of your family background, doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor, where you live, who your parents are, what race you may be, as long as you make the effort and try to do well, we will help you to do well.” Mr Lee noted that the Government is rolling out measures to create a better future for Singaporeans, especially for young people so they can realise their dreams.

Mr Lee stressed Singapore cannot be a society where the winner takes all. Highlighting that one’s success is also due to the help given by others, Mr Lee said: “You owe a responsibility to them to help them, to care for them and to work together to give back to society, so we can progress together.”

Mr Lee cited two other inspiring students Edusave Scholarship and Good Character awards recipient Dinesh Ganesan, 13, started volunteering at Primary 4 — he would offer to take care of the children when kindergartens held events at his school — while Edusave Scholarship award recipient Soh Jing Zhi, 16, organised a spring cleaning of his school after a learning trip to Japan last year. “(The Japanese students) took it upon themselves to make sure their environment is clean … I thought it was a good idea so I brought the practice back to my school,” said Jing Zhi.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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