Friday, November 30, 2007
A Brother We will always remember.
Boon San or Ah San is our youngest brother. He is someone special and we will always appreciate his special ways. The last Ah San we know is a young aspiring engineer who just started work in DSTA (Mindef) for slightly more than 1week. When national duty call, he packed his bag for the Phnom Penh's boat race.
Little is known of his background that he is always sailing against the odds. Ah San (or Bageh as you guys are familiar with) took 8years to complete his primary school. In P3, he failed in Chong Fu Primary School (within 300m walking distance from our home) and was asked to moved to Naval Base Primary School (which needs 2 shuttle trips). At that point, the family was extremely angry with him for the inability to study (always met with much caning from Father or the Eldest Brother in the year end report card season) and also incuring transport expense that was previously not needed. Subsequently, he barely scrap through PSLE with the scoring of 150 to make the grade for Pierce Secondary School. He took 5years to complete his Normal (Academic) course and it was there that I believe that a Teacher (Mrs Poh) took attention of this boy to inject the self-confidence that he so badly needs after a bad start.
After the Secondary School, Ah San made it to NYP Engineering and the entire family was shocked and elated that our wayward boy is begining to come onto the mainstream. After talking to Ah Lam (his 2nd brother who did engineering and Dragonboating), he decide to take the plunge for the same stuff (engineering and Dragonboating) as well. According to the NYP Dragonboat team manager (Ivan), Ah San was transformed from one of inferior complex to one that is highly driven, discipine and focused. In this NYP days, his passion for Dragonboat helps in his character building that permeates into his academic pursuit.
After Poly, he was enlisted and was posted to Navy. With his heightened passion for Dragonboat, he is always finding ways and means to find out the path to got rope into the SAFSA Dragonboat team. After few months of hard knocks around, he made it to ensure that he can continue his passion in his NS days.
During his NS days, he have not forgot his goal (to benchmark his 2nd brother who has completed his Bachelor Of Engineering degree). As such, he applied for a couple of occasion into NTU for the same engineering degree course. One day, NTU called and asked him to go for interview. The siblings upon knowing this starts to prep him on the potential questions via role playing and grilling him with difficult questions. The interview came and go, a letter with NTU letterhead founds it way to our home one day. It says that he is being accepted into NTU in view of his poly grades and outstanding achievements in Dragonboating. On this news, he was lost and the entire family took a long... long while to sink in this idea. I remember that my mother buy many stuff to thank the Gods for the blessings on the boy (whom we have wrote-off earlier).
In his NTU days, the dragonboat values already sunked into him helps to drive him on both academically and physically and he finally graduated with a 2nd Class Honours degree in Electrical Engineering. This target is one he has set and he achieved it despite having to juggle with the heavy study load and the punishing National Dragonboat team training. How he do it? We do not know. But we, the siblings are very proud because he has sailed against all odds and prevailed with academic excellence in addition to the honor of donning the country colors for Dragonboat.
In the many years with Ah San as a brother, he has taught me many aspects of being a good son. He actually converse with my mother that he would like to take care of them in their old age. That is already being validated that he set the conditions "I will not leave the house" as a pre-condition for any relationship to commence.
According to his varsity friends, he would not hesitate to drop by in the library to assist his fellow students (or brothers) who needs help. He is also the live-wire of the boating team by teasing one another and motivating them to greater heights. With Ah San as their pacer (Left 1 in NTU), the team's confidence soared since he can sense the pulse of the team well.
But Ah San will always be an critical part of the family (the gel that holds everyone together), the essence of what filial piety is all about when he will skip race to be with our mum. He will always be one that he knows what is important when he skip races to prepare for his exams. He has left behind many sweet memories for our family members, his teammates and friends. He has taught us all that "Life is not measured by the length of it, but rather the impact you made to the friends around you".
Love from Family Members,
"Boon Sing", Yumei, Ah Lian, Ah Yong, Ah Lam