Ms Ho Ching, the CEO of Temasek Holdings and wife of Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, was spotted bringing a S$14.80 purse during her visit to the White House of United States. The purse is designed by a 19-year-old student, See Toh Sheng Jie who has been on Pathlight School’s Artist Development Programme (ADP).
Pathlight is a school for students with autism.
Ms Ho purchased the item at A Very Special Walk, a concert and funfair, an annual fundraising event by the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) held to raise funds for autism support services on 29 July.
National newspaper, Straits Times posted a story about this and since then, the post which was on its Facebook page, had thousands of 'likes' and hundreds of Facebook users had commented on the post to show their support and praise for Ms Ho's fashion sense.
Below are the top 10 comments on it which has the most likes :
- Ibrahim Hassan who wrote "One of the most powerful women in the world chose to use this one made by an autistic child instead of a highly branded one typically associated with people of her league. This is simply amazing and shows how humble she is. Not to mention how connected and in sync she is to the average man on the street."
- Vince Koh wrote, "This shows a drastic contrast as compared to the other Mdm Hippo who carry Hermes Birkins and Audemar Piguet.
Well done to Mrs Lee ! ?"
- "Guys, every time your wife looks at that Prada, show her this news," wrote Choy Heng-Wah.
- Serene Bee Tin Poh said that the purse did not match with her outfit but the act warmed peoples's heart. "It may not match with her outfits but still warms the heart of many . A humble lady that deserve utmost respect. Thank you Mrs Lee for recognizing this special group of artists in your own special way."
- "You know every year she will buy cookies for the girls guide and give out to the students at pathlight. Joash always get a tin when he was studying there," wrote Wendy Ho.
- Ferdinand Lo said that "Price has no tag"!
- Serena Lim wrote, "#ThisIsUs. RESPECT! RESPECT! RESPECT! My utmost respects to Mrs Lee for her beautiful unconventional acts carrying such a meaningful bag to support our Singapore child. Salute!"
- Sumiah Buang wrote, "A woman of substance does not need to carry a 'branded' bag or becomes a slave to fashion icons to prove her worth."
- Bronze Man wrote,"This is humility at its peak. She's considered one of the powerful ladies in the world and yet she attain such a high level of humble. This really touches the heart especially to the student who made this bag. Great job Mrs Lee. You held the nation in high pedestal of humility. My bow to you"
- Cho Heng-Wah wrote, "She tried to borrow a Birkin from Mrs. Najib, but she was away shopping."
Of course, her choice of fashion is not without criticism.
A commenter, Loke Fook Sheng wrote on The Independent SG's feature,
"As someone representing the country, she should be wearing something representative of how normal people of standing in our country wear. A symbolic dress as the sarong kebaya does not tell much about the country. Otherwise, by the same token, shouldn't the PM be wearing a baju? For a leader, wearing symbolic clothing is not enough. Projecting an appropriate image and decorum that reflects the status of the person that he or she is is equally important."
The bag is also on sale on the internet. The Art Faculty Shop web wrote that people can pre-order the purse but waiting time is estimated to take two months for delivery.