There’s a One-Handed Hawker Who’s Been Selling Noodles for 24 Years

Image: Screengrab from YouTube/SethLui.com

Most of us have two abled-hands and we complain of our inability to accomplish things.

This, though, isn’t the case for Mr Yee Meng Yong who was born in 1962 and is 57 years old this year, according to his article.

Image: Screengrab from YouTube/SethLui.com

Industrial Accident

At the tender age of 21 years old and fresh out of the army, Mr Yee lost his right arm in an industrial accident involving a cement mixer.

He recalls that he was forced to rely on his left hand and had to re-learn everything including writing and “everything else”.

Punggol Noodles

Then in 1995, at the age of 32, Mr Yee took over his father-in-law’s noodle business with his late wife, when it resettled from its previous location in Punggol to its current location at Block 11, Hougang Avenue 5.

Punggol Noodles is essentially a Bak Chor Mee store which according to Mr Yee, is packed with a lot of ingredients from the liver to mincemeat and fresh vegetables; one of the reasons why his customers love his noodles so much.

Image: Screengrab from YouTube/SethLui.com

Hard Work

Despite only having one hand and no experience in the business, Mr Yee poured his heart and soul into the noodle business.

His daily routine included making his signature meatballs and noodles from scratch, where it usually began at 3:00 a.m. at the stall.

On top of the noodles and meatballs, Mr Yee also braised mushrooms and pork intestines.

He recalls that he even had to work six to seven hours straight without taking a single break in between, serving between 200 to 250 bowls each day.

Image: Screengrab from YouTube/SethLui.com

Tragedy Struck

Not long after Mr Yee and his late wife, Madam Law, took over the business, tragedy struck.

Feeling overwhelmed and ever-increasingly tired from working to pay off multiple debts, Madam took her own life by jumping to her demise from their seventh-story flat.

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A three-page suicide note was addressed to Mr Yee and their three children.

It was according to Mr Yee, his “lowest time.”

A Glimmer of Hope

Despite having to nurse his own pain through bereavement, and having to work long hours to sustain the business, Mr Yee thanks his eldest son for stepping up to help him in those dark days.

His eldest son began the day with Mr Yee himself, helping with food preparation before heading to work himself.

Mr Yee thanks him for “running for the family.”

Image: SethLui.com

Long Queues and Satisfaction

It has been a long time coming since Mr Yee took up his chopsticks, strainer and ladle.

His current wife now helps him with the stall and has been doing so for the past five years.

Mr Yee tells SethLui that “She’s like my right hand,” who handles the “ingredients, plating and customers” while he cooks.

Image: Screengrab from YouTube/SethLui.com

My Yee shares that he has never once felt like “giving up” because “many customers gave feedback that they are satisfied with” his noodles.

He intends to just “keep on going” till the day “nobody likes” his noodles.

In imparting his final words of wisdom, Mr Yee says “The only thing is, never give up.”

Image: Screengrab from YouTube/SethLui.com

You can watch the full video on Mr Yee below: