The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) congratulates our former Patron Mrs S R Nathan on receiving the Honorary Posthumous IRO Award on behalf of her husband – the late President of Singapore Mr S R Nathan. Mrs Nathan, who was SADeaf’s Patron from 2000 – 2013, accepted the award from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a gala dinner to commemorate the IRO’s 70th anniversary. The award honours Mr Nathan’s commitment in promoting the cause of inter-religious cohesion and harmony.
Photo: Courtesy of Straits Times
The Singapore Association for the Deaf is proud to announce Mr Peng Tsu Ying (92), the late former trustee of the Association will be receiving the highly-honoured Public Service Medal (Posthumous) at the National Day Awards in 2019 for his selfless dedication to Deaf education for decades.
About Mr Mr Peng Tsu Ying
Mr Peng, who passed away in October last year, lost his hearing at the age of five after taking too much medicine for a high fever. After receiving education for the Deaf in Hong Kong and Shanghai, he came to Singapore in 1948 to help his father in his business. When he arrived, he realised that Singapore did not have a Deaf school and he decided to establish one, so that the Deaf can have access to education.
However, the colonial government then only approved him to run a school at his home. He then started his private school in 1951, initially with only nine students. With the help of his reporter friends, Mr Peng published articles in two Chinese newspapers to advertise his school and raised $5000. In 1954, he established the Singapore Chinese Sign School for the Deaf at Charlton Road in 1954, using Shanghainese Sign Language as the medium of instruction.
The school merged with the Oral School for the Deaf, established by the Singapore Red Cross, in 1963 to form the Singapore School for the Deaf. Mr Peng was one of its founding Principals and led the school’s Chinese Sign Language department.
Besides dedicating his life to Deaf education, Mr Peng was also an outstanding motor racer. From 1959 to 1967, he won 36 trophies in the local motorsport races with his Lotus open-top sports car. In a media interview after a race in 1975, he said that he took part in motorsports to prove that “being deaf is no handicap in being skillful.”
Mr Peng is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
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When Mdm Neo discovered that both of her children were deaf, like her and her husband, she took it in stride. “It didn’t matter that they were deaf,” signed the 69-year-old via interpreters from the Singapore Association of the Deaf.
“I was just worried about their education … I wasn’t sure how to teach them and had to send them to a school (for the deaf) to make sure they received proper education.”
Mdm Neo, who grew up with five other siblings who were also deaf, said her disability never deterred her from her role as a mother.
“I just wanted to look after my kids,” she said simply.