Car Dealer Who Pays for Strangers’ Medical and Funeral Expenses Is Singaporean of the Year

Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2022, Mr. Anson Ng | Image: The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Being diagnosed with a critical illness or losing a loved one are some of the most distressing circumstances people go through. Unfortunately, for the not very well off, the need to face the sad reality of having financial burdens imposed by these trying times is inevitable.

For Mr. Anson Ng, responding to the needs of the sick and dying has become his calling for two decades, tirelessly answering numerous phone calls asking for help, and doing what he can to ease people’s struggles by paying for their medical bills and loved ones’ funeral expenses, as well as granting people’s last wishes.

Since 2018, the 55-year-old owner of second-hand car dealership Presto Expat Motoring Services has also been giving monthly provisions and food to the poor through his charity Hao Ren Hao Shi (Good People, Good Deeds), which helps about 1,000 families a month.

Even earlier than this, he was volunteering at old age hospices where he cooks meals for the residents and keeps them company.

Because of his endless acts of generosity and selflessness, Mr. Ng was named as The Straits Times (ST) Singaporean of the Year 2022 on Feb. 9.

But what motivates Mr. Ng to practice this altruism instead of just enjoying his wealth with his wife and two children?

Honed by Experience and Good Examples

At a young age, the Straits Times awardee lost his father to suicide, leaving him to work odd jobs to help his family make ends meet.

During this period, his uncle’s act of staying with them and helping his family with the funeral arrangements made an impact on the then nine-year-old Anson and instilled in him compassion towards those who are grieving.

He told the Straits Times: “I was lucky to have an uncle who could help, but can you imagine those who don’t have anyone to support them? I know how they feel. So now, I am that uncle who helps people.”

At 28 years old, he found out he was adopted. Though not related biologically, he was deeply hurt by his adoptive mother’s passing and said: “I don’t believe emotions are tied to blood”.

The amount of love he received from his foster family was probably so great that he finds it easy to open his arms to strangers during their times of need, remembering how his family welcomed him as their own.

Beyond the Title

According to Mr. Ng, he was not expecting to win since many others who were nominated have great advocacies.

“It is a good chance to tell Singapore about how important it is to serve our needy and elderly. We must teach our young to do good, so that our nation will be in good hands in the future,” he said, noting how he perceives the recognition.

Singapore’s President, Halimah Yacob, who presented the award to Mr. Ng, said: “These Singapore stories of grit, goodwill and glory will remind us to stand together, and inspire us to move forward as one united people. Let us lift our heads, let us celebrate the light in each of us; and in turn, let us all be the light in our society.”

Jaime Ho, Editor of The Straits Times, said of the 2022 Singaporean of the Year winner: “He epitomises the selfless and generous ideals we all aspire to ourselves, and leads the way in showing that every deed, big or small, starts with one person and has infinite potential to inspire.”

Silent Hero

“I can’t bring my money with me when I die. I would rather spend it to make these people happy and provide them with a send-off they deserve. Money is really not everything,” Mr. Ng told ST.

He had also been previously awarded as the Singapore Silent Hero for the “Outstanding Adult” category in 2021 for his works in the community.

Indeed a silent hero, Mr. Ng did not see the need to look very far nor search for colossal issues to solve that would earn him attention. Inspired by his personal experiences and the kindness he received from people in his life, he made it his long-term mission to pay it forward by doing what he can to lessen the burdens of those who are directed to him and who are in a positon life once placed him in, working quietly yet making a significant impact in society.

Watch this video from The Straits Times to learn more of Mr. Ng’s story and charity:

-based on articles published by The Straits Times

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