SINGAPORE - When Dr Abdul Razakjr Omar reminisces, it's not about family holidays abroad but about pawn shop visits.
The consultant cardiologist at the Raffles Heart Centre remembers "many visits to the pawn shop because that's what my parents used to do to tide things over for the family."
The 42-year-old, known to colleagues as Dr Razakjr, said: "I remember the long receipts from the trips to the pawn shops. But I'm not ashamed of what they did because you do what it takes to bring up your family."
The father of two children - a boy, 12, and a girl , 16 - paid tribute to his parents at a press conference on Tuesday morning where he was named Berita Harian's Achiever of the Year.
On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the guest of honour at a gala dinner at Shangri-La Hotel.
Mr Lee presented the award to Dr Razakjr, who is also an adjunct assistant professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.
Speaking to The New Paper, the doctor credited his parents, retired soldier Omar Harun, 69, and housewife Junaidah Ismail, 63, for teaching him that "hard work is important and that in life there are no shortcuts."
Dr Razakjr, who is the eldest of three children, said that his family came from humble beginnings.