Youngest of 11 kids wants to help needy

Youngest of 11 kids wants to help needy
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Name: Chong Kee Hiong
Age: 49
Ward Contesting: Bishan East

Mr Chong grew up as the youngest of 11 siblings, squeezing with them, his grandmother and parents in a three-room flat.

Today, he has four children of his own - unplanned, he admitted with a laugh, but absolutely manageable, considering his brood of brothers and sisters.

Dad sold shoes in a market at Bendemeer, while mum was a housewife, so money was very tight growing up.

Through bursaries and scholarships, he obtained a degree in accountancy from the National University of Singapore after studying at Raffles Institution and then-Raffles Junior College.

With siblings in diverse backgrounds, he noted that his family is pretty much a microcosm of Singapore - his elder sister has taken over the shoe stall from their late father.

A beneficiary of meritocracy, the chief executive officer of OUE Hospitality Reit Management said he will champion for more bursaries and scholarships.

Mr Chong lives in a landed property at Bishan East, the ward he will contest in the coming GE.

The decision to enter politics was discussed with his children, who are aged between nine and 17 years old.

He said: "You lose privacy by being in the public eye. But if an opportunity comes by to serve the people, which is an honour, we should step up to it, and deal with the privacy issues later."

Although he mentally prepared himself for unfair criticism, Mr Chong admitted that he still feels a little hurt by some comments.

"But it is inevitable. It's all part of a package of entering politics," he said.

 

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