Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Mr Tamil and Mr Lim | SPD - Singapore

Celebrating Life’s Every Triumph Together – Mr Tamil and Mr Lim

29/03/2018

Mr Tamil Selvan and Mr Lim Boon Tiong at SPD

Mr Tamil Selvan and Mr Lim Boon Tiong were clients of our Transition to Employment (TTE) programme. With their perseverance, and assistance from SPD staff, as well as Marina Bay Sands (MBS), an employer who provides job opportunities to persons with disabilities, both Mr Tamil and Mr Lim are now working at MBS. At their last therapy session at SPD in January this year, Mr Tamil and Mr Lim shared their journey at TTE with senior analyst Poh Sho Siam.

Meeting Mr Tamil in person, one would not expect that he had survived four strokes and underwent five spinal surgeries in the last 15 years. Mr Tamil walks without a mobility aid, albeit slower in movement. When he started therapy at SPD, Mr Tamil said he made it a point to attend the sessions as he believes that it will help him. In view of his financial situation, his therapy and transport fees were subsidised by SPD and that motivated him to make an effort to do his part. “So, I must come”, he said. Encouragements from TTE staff also gave him much confidence. He believed in staying active and not just staying at home and watching television.

Working at MBS has been a different experience for Mr Tamil who used to be a storekeeper and security guard. There, he gets to meet many people from different nationalities. Besides making him healthier and more active, he feels that work perks him up. For that, he is grateful to the TTE staff for helping him with therapy and Erwin Tan, his employment support specialist, for facilitating his employment at MBS. With this job, he is able to support himself and his elderly mother.

For others who face difficulties during their recovery journey, Mr Tamil’s advice is, “do not lose hope” and “don’t listen to people who discourage you”. Despite his multiple strokes and surgeries, Mr Tamil still maintains an optimistic outlook in life, which is admirable and a positive example to others.

Mr Lim Boon Tiong shares Mr Tamil’s appreciation of MBS’ staff welfare in the provision of a wide variety of food in the staff canteen.

Mr Lim had his right knee amputated because of complications resulting from diabetes. He uses a prosthetic limb which takes time getting used to and requires several fittings and trials for a suitable one. Mr Lim is able to walk slowly, though he uses a motorised wheelchair outside of home.

After more than a year in TTE, Mr Lim felt that his condition and confidence improved. Mr Lim had to stop working after acquiring his disability which was a strain to his finances. In his quiet disposition, Mr Lim said that he was happy to be working at MBS and that his colleagues would readily extend assistance when needed, such as getting him a chair. He went on to describe his job as the “best job in Singapore”!

When it was time to take some photos, it was Mr Lim who suggested the background, one of which was SPD’s front gate, as remembrance.

Mr Tamil and Mr Lim at the front gate of SPD Ability Centre

We are glad that both Mr Tamil and Mr Lim are settling well in their new jobs and wish them all the best! We also applaud MBS for being an inclusive employer and hope that this will encourage more companies to focus on the abilities of persons with disabilities and offer them a chance at employment.

At the point of posting this article, we learnt that Mr Tamil had another minor stroke. He is recuperating at home and is expected to return to work in April. We wish Mr Tamil a speedy recovery.