Ex-principal lauded for ‘pioneering spirit’


FORMER principal Fong Yuet Kwai has plenty of fighting spirit, as Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam noted yesterday.

Mr Tharman singled out Madam Fong’s self-reliance and never-say-die attitude in his Budget speech.

That “pioneering spirit”, he noted, shone through when Madam Fong was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 1997 but returned to Nan Hua Primary School after just six months because she felt it was her duty.

Madam Fong, 72, taught at the school for more than four decades. She told The Straits Times yesterday that staying positive and cheerful helped her get through some of her darker days.

“Whether you have a long or short life is not important. What’s most important is whether you have lived your life usefully.

“I still felt like I had a lot of things to give to the school, so I decided to go back. I’ve been working with children for so long; after six months at home, it got boring,” she added with a laugh.

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