"My parents sold me for $800 when I was 9 years old. A family in Johor bought me to work on their rubber plantations. It was difficult work for a child. And once I even got injured. But they didn’t give me proper medical care so my leg never healed properly.
By the time I was 11, I couldn’t take it anymore because they beat me. So I ran away. I knew that if I followed the railway track, it would lead back to Singapore. So I walked along the track and managed to find my way home. After that, my parents returned the $800 to get back my birth certificate.
But they were still poor so they sold me again - for $880 this time. I was sold to a temple in Malaysia. I did cooking and cleaning at the temple… But there was trouble at the temple and eventually I had to leave when I was 17. Again I found my way back to Singapore.
When I got home, I opened a business tailoring clothes. I was never trained but I’d seen the tailors working in the streets and figured it out. I had lots of business.
That’s how I met my husband. He came to the shop one day to tailor a jacket and later he asked me out…
I suppose my childhood was quite hard. My reading and writing is not so good because I couldn’t go to school all those years. And there were some hardships. But now I have a good life. I have three grown children and my husband is always with me. We are very happy.”