Hello everyone, I am Tony Tan Lay Thiam (陈礼添). I have finally decided to start a blogsite, in order that I can record my thoughts on how we can make Singapore a better place for Singaporeans. I also hope someday my two boys will read this blogsite, and understand my decisions, my reasons and my struggles why I decided to join Singapore politics.
I was raised by my late mom and my sisters. My dad “officially” left me when I was 14. My mother has taught me compassion and righteousness, which I hope to internalise. I always feel that I fall short of her expectations. Even though we were not rich, she had never failed to make token donations to the poor, and ensure that we led our life meaningful. Weeks before she passed away, she reminded me that no matter how much money one makes, one can only have 3 meals a day. When she passed away, I was not surprised to learn that the charities she supported are featured in her final will. Frankly, my late mom is an ardent supporter of the ruling party. I know that my involvement in opposition political parties would be against her wish. But it is exactly because what she has taught me that makes me feel that I have to be involved. I know I better be doing good and doing right, so that when I meet her again, hopefully not so soon yet, I better be able to give her a good account of my contributions.
A bit more about myself. At age 15, I nearly quitted school. At age 17, I was nearly expelled. At 18, I was charged in the Army. I was also awarded the SAF Merit Scholarship (that is really NOT my choice & teaching scholarship was my first choice! In those days, you have 6 options & the SAF scholarships were my last few choices! Besides, I needed the money for my family) and headed for University of Cambridge to read Engineering. I met many wonderful people, including my wife Hazel Poa Koon Koon (http://hazelpoa.blogspot.com), who have helped me grow and learn. I still look back at those formative years fondly. At age 23, I got married after my graduation.
At age 27, I was promoted to the rank of MAJOR in the Army. At age 31, I completed my bond with the government, rejected a rank promotion and joined Hazel Poa to expand the education company she had founded in 1999. We are later awarded the Spirit of Enterprise Award in 2006 and Singapore Prestige Brand Award in 2007.
By 38, we adopted 2 boys. We named them – Yong Yao (勇耀) and Yong Yi (勇毅). I live together with my parent-in-laws and my Ah Ma (mother of my father-in-law; see picture above).
Finally, this is my personal blogsite. Views contained with this blogsite are my personal views and are not views of any political party or organisation that I am associated with.