Rosman’s niece: “He radiates positivity always”

Rosman bin Abdullah was originally scheduled to be executed on 23 February 2022. He has received a stay of execution pending a court hearing on 28 February.

The following are thoughts penned by Rosman’s niece about her uncle.

From the conversations I have had with my mother, my uncle always sounds like the kind of man I wish I had could spend more time with, especially when I was starting to be old enough to understand the world better.

He used to catch fish (often they were guppies) at a nearby huge longkang, spending the time with my mother with such a simple activity, but by the simple sound of it, you could tell they grew up close. They are the only two who knew what it’s like growing up the way they did — all the highs, and especially all the lows.

I still remember the day of his arrest, I was in school when my mother called. I remember sitting at the back of a lecture hall and it was all a blank. Wasn’t he just around? Integrating back to the society — especially in Singapore where everything is so fast-paced, could be a little overwhelming even sometimes — I feel takes an entire village, and sometimes I wished he stuck around for awhile more, wait for me to grow a little more — because maybe then I could be around for him and with him a little more, like I always try to for my own mother.

I may not know the extent of their childhood, and the struggles they might’ve faced, but I know they certainly were resilient while growing up, going through everything that was thrown at them. For us to strive, and navigate positively through this world, I believe it is important, if not the most important, for us to have good upbringing — a positive environment, one that encourages the child to be the child they deserve to be, one with good role models and who else if not our parents who ought to be the first. If my uncle had that, would I now be thinking of him in a comfortable home instead of him now just waiting for his time… to go? Another thing I remember my mother said is that my uncle always puts his friends first. He has always loved his friends. He would go lengths for his friends. Why wouldn’t he? If his friends were those who could give him comfort, support and the care and love he might’ve lacked getting.

The few times I met him, whether he was in or out, or even during the couple of times I braved myself to see him in the courtroom — he always have had a calm disposition. Probably a strong front, a facade that may be hiding some of his darkest days that date back to his childhood. His face always shone, he radiates positivity always, in fact even now when he may be waiting for something so painful — he could still speak jovially.

Perhaps one may think he deserves what he’s facing now, but does he really? His circumstances weren’t in his favour, and he fell victim badly to it. But despite this all, he’s grown to accept, and I’ve never heard him speak of anyone in resentment.

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