Singapore’s newest legendary mother and son – Serene Ong and Ryan Ang from Unity Primary

Story summary on how Serene Ong and Ryan Ang achieved legendary status in Singapore (and maybe worldwide soon), via StraitsTimes.com:

Teacher cuts pupil’s hair, mum files police report

A mother has lodged a police report after her 12-year-old son’s teacher cut his hair an hour before his PSLE oral exam last Thursday.

The mother, Madam Serene Ong, is outraged that the teacher did this just before a crucial exam, that it was done without her knowledge – and that it ruined the boy’s $60 haircut.

She claimed the teacher – Ms Belinda Cheng of Unity Primary – also threatened to deduct marks from the boy’s exam if he refused to have his hair cut.

On Wednesday, the school’s principal, Mrs Jasmail Singh Gill, agreed with Madam Ong that the teacher had no business cutting the boy’s hair.

When I was in school, I was one of those “naughty” boys who always run into disciplinary problems because of long or dyed hair; all the way from primary school to junior college.

I hated the teachers and prefects for making a big fuss over haircuts.

To me it is about individualism, to them, it is probably seen as an open act of defiant which needs to be clammed down for collectivism.

I was a good student – studious, good grades and respectful of my teachers. Yet I get sent to detention many times and even got shaved bald a few occasions by my school for hair violation.

Hence I am sympathetic to Ryan Ang. It must have felt really crappy having your fringe and sideburn snipped off by your teacher, especially when the haircut cost a whopping $60. Time has changed. Such practices may be acceptable a few decades ago, but Singapore society had progressed from third world to first and our school systems should too. The teacher’s action is unacceptable.

Nonetheless, I am shocked that Ryan Ang’s mother, Serene Ong went to the extent of making a police report against the teacher and whistle-blow to the media, exposing the school, the teacher’s identity and even her own son’s identity.

I pity the teacher and Unity Primary School.

Why the need to name and shame over such a trivia matter?

Complain to the principal not good enough?

Good lor, now all the major media in Singapore picked up on the story and Ryan Ang’s face has been plastered all over. Overnight superstar.

I am sure over the next few days, this news will be picked up by foreign media on their international tabloid pages reserved for the weirdest and silliest news around the world.

Thanks to his mother, Ryan Ang has achieved legendary status as the $60 haircut Singapore boy. Thanks to herself, Serene Ong also achieved legendary status as the Singapore mother who would make a police report over her son’s haircut.

Here are two nice “before and after” pictures of Ryan Ang provided to the media by his loving mother:

Singapore's very own $60 haircut boy legend - Ryan Ong
Singapore’s very own $60 haircut boy legend – Ryan Ang

Remember his face. He is a legend.

If you come across Ryan Ang in person, remember not to any how touch his hair. His mother will call the police to arrest you.

Too bad Serene Ong never provide a photo of herself for the media too. She is a bigger legend.

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19 thoughts on “Singapore’s newest legendary mother and son – Serene Ong and Ryan Ang from Unity Primary”

  1. Hi Alvin, your writing never fails to amuse me.. It’s pretty cool to call them legendary. Btw : I think the boy is Ryan Ang and not Ryan Ong.. BEWARE of a police report coming your way! Cheers, Legend Fan

  2. Can we somehow try to get Serene Ong and Belinda Cheng’s photos? Hopefully fellow talented netizens can upload their photos to let the world ‘swoon’~

  3. Actually, I think his mother is a hero. Honestly speaking, I don’t quite pity the teacher. Look at his fringe it’s not anywhere below his eyebrow. I just think school rules can be so overly strict for no reason. I’m so glad school days are over for me. And maybe this news should show up, as a proof of how unreasonable school’s ‘rules’ can be.

  4. Touching someone / cutting that person’s hair / etc without their express consent is grounds for assault and battery (even if you think it is ‘for their own good’). This act can be considered a criminal offence under the Singapore Penal Code and can be punished by imprisonment.

    The mother was doing a duty as a good citizen and the police should investigate. If necessary the public prosecutor should press charges against the accused. It is up to the courts to decide if the accused did indeed commit a criminal offence.

  5. Trivial matter you might say. It’s like you’re in a bus, and some stranger just walk up to you and simply just hating your hairstyle and start cutting you bald. They have the right? So what give the right for teacher to do so?

    I just think some rules should be justify, then having it pass on and on. Which you know is just so wrong in the first place. If it mean having someone to finally speak out, and get this matter seen and have it change. Then that’s a hero.

    By the way thumb up to Justin’s comment. Very well say.

  6. Oh c’mon, it’s just a haircut. It’s lame to make a police report. The teacher didn’t do anything harm to the kid. Unless she did violence and hurt him, she have to be punished. Human is getting weaker every time. Seriously. The mother is just a lame mother who adore children like they are god. Too much for the kids. Let them grow to be a stronger generation. Not a prick whining about how his haircut ruined.

  7. I would presume Justin to be some lawyer or a lawyer wanna-be. Thanks for updating all of us reading here about what the law is about. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is also the part called ‘application of the written’ to consider. Do you have case studies to show that this would amount to assault and battery? Would you honestly (assuming here that you are not a lawyer yet) pay anyone from a top law firm to go and sue the ministry, school or teacher for the outrageous act?

    The kid was given a warning letter. These don’t come by surprise, pretty much like how his hair didn’t just grow overnight. It’s not similar to some stranger coming up to you like Kelvin mentions because the named teacher was HIS TEACHER. Our dear Mdm Ong has clearly forgotten that she enrolled him in the school with the rules mentioned.

    Now about rules. Yes yes… some rules aren’t so great and some rules maybe are. But who’s to say right? You want to smoke pot and do it legally? Go to Amsterdam. Live there… who cares. But not in Singapore. Is it a bad rule? Arguable. Are haircuts necessary in the school rules? Arguable too, but hey! It’s in the rule book. Don’t want to live by the rules, go study somewhere else. Stay at home! Who cares. I don’t want to waste my tax paying money on educating her son but I do anyway because it’s the law. I don’t see why she should make me waste more of my money by getting the police to investigate somethig as daft as this.

  8. teacher should sue parent for loss of income and reputation due to overreaction. she can kiss any future chance of promotions goodbye and will not even be able to transfer to any other school or switch careers as she has a police report filed against her.if this were done to a teacher in the west a defamation lawsuit would have been filed by now.

  9. The Straits Times should publish a picture of the mother and her full name and place of work.After all she did that to her own son whom she claims to protect.What a hypocrite !

  10. Edwyn, you are wrong. I heard that teacher just got promoted to senior teacher in English and science. She even got best English teacher award for the school from MOE.(senior teacher= teacher that teaches other teachers how to teach students well, something like that).
    And that mother and son crazy, for what cut hair $60. nice haircut, anywhere also get $10, somemore you not pleased, go back that store, cut free). Fro no reason go reds hairdressing…

  11. The teacher is correct. Barrister Luo, well said. The mother, report year head, then report vice-principal, then report principal, then report moe, then report police, siao one. Even moe minister mr heng swee keat say teacher correct. Mother crazy, hypocrite?

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