Chee Ah Eng
Recipient of the Jamiyah Exemplary Mother Award in 2002
She had gone through trying times when her husband’s business contracts floundered. Among other things, it was particularly painful when they had been cheated of large sums of money. It was a nightmare period which culminated in his having kidney problems. After his death, there were children to bring up, huge debts to settle, in addition to her own personal problems.
She was only 33 years old. Not all problems could be settled but they could be lessened or circumvented. Her own parents, knowing her sense of responsibility, were very supportive. Help also came from her mother-in-law who took care of the two youngest children while a relative allowed her to work at her coffee shop. Her eldest daughter also worked part time there. It was painful for her to be able to visit her two children only on the weekends and to leave them there crying. Yet the little time she had was meaningfully spent with her three children. She focused especially on the needs of her infant daughter, who was barely two years old. She vowed never to get married so that she could focus all her energies to her fatherless children. She also tried her very best to infuse proper values in them, using her own exemplary conduct as examples for them. She had to be their role model.
Hard work paid off ultimately when all three children obtained degrees and ha d good jobs. Two are married and she enjoys being with her grandchildren.