SINGAPORE - The 19-year-old who boasted about getting the lowest Physical Employment Status (PES) for his National Service has said that he has been misunderstood.
A reader had earlier wrote in to citizen journalism website Stomp about a Facebook posting by Sky Lim, who runs social media marketing Crownsify, revealing how he intends to continue running his business upon enlistement into the army by getting a low PES.
The post attracted criticism from readers, some of whom felt that he had 'no integrity and honesty'.
However, Lim has come forward to give his account of things, telling Razor TV in an interview that he had a prior neck injury and went through the proper channels to have it examined.
"I declared my medical condition, and went to Alexandra Hospital - which was appointed by CMPB - for a medical checkup on my neck problem. I did MRI scans and X-rays, which was how I got my low PES status", he said.
When asked about why he wrote a post online about this, Lim replied that he felt 'motivated' by this and wanted to 'inspire others to stay focused' on what they were doing.
"If you set your mind and aim to make things happen, do not let any obstacles stop you", he added.
But, he did concede that he regretted the way he wrote the message on Facebook as he thought the only ones who would see it were his friends - who already knew about his medical condition.
He said he did not expect someone to take a sreenshot of this and upload it elsewhere.
Transcript of interview on next page.
Transcript of interview:
Medical injury was not faked
"I did nothing special. What I did was to just go through (it) the normal way. I declared my medical condition and I went to Alexandra Hospital - which was appointed by the Central Manpower Base (CMPB) - for a medical checkups on my neck problem.
"I did MRI scans and x-rays - which was how I got my low PES status.
"I do not know exactly how bad my condition is because when I asked CMPB about it, they said it's confidential.
"I just know that I have an existing condition. And because one of my friends has a spine problem as well and he got a PES C, I knew that I would get a low PES. But I didn't know that it would be an E9."
Not bragging, just happy
"I realised that good things have been happening, and I felt motivated when I wrote (the post) on my Facebook.
"My intention was to let people know that and to inspire other people with the message that I wanted to put across - to stay focused on whatever you are doing, set your mind onto something, aim to make things happen and not let any obstacles stop you."
Thankful to the few who spoke up for him
"It was quite a shock for me that someone took a screenshot of it and it appeared on the Temasek Review, The Real Singapore, Stomp etc.
"There are two sides to every action that you do. You can't please everyone in the world even if you clarify.
"To those who have been very objective, I would like to thank them for helping me to clarify and everything that the public has done."
Admits the message was not clearly written
"I regretted a bit because I should have made in clearer in the way I phrased it. I didn't know that people would screenshot it and it would go viral.
"My friends know about my low PES status and know that I have this health condition. I thought they would be the only ones seeing it."