Usually, prominent politicians and their spouses are seen sporting the latest in high fashion, but the wife of Singapore’s prime minister is making waves with her $14 purse.
During a state visit to the United States, Ho Ching, wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, carried around a denim purse covered in dinosaurs.
The pouch is made by Sheng Jie, an autistic student at Pathlight School in Ang Mo Kio, Signapore. It is usually sold on the school’s website, but is currently sold out.
Sheng’s father, Jason See Toh, told TODAY online that when he first heard the news, he thought it was a joke. He’s now hoping the attention will bring more awareness to autistic people and will help people start to understand their abilities.
He says Sheng’s fascination with dinosaurs started when he was three, when he watched a Disney movie about them.
“Every day, he spends about three to five hours on either drawing or moulding of dinosaurs,” he said.
Sheng himself is pleased with the worldwide attention: when shown a picture of Ho Ching holding his design in Washington, he simply replies “Happy.”
The school’s principal tells the BBC she was “surprised and honoured” that Ho Ching took the bag to the U.S.
“It gave such a great mileage for the artist on our Artist Development Programme,” Linda Kho said.
“[She] is known to be very down to earth and practical and the fact that she carries a less than $20 Singapore dollars pouch to such a world stage event shows she is really confident and authentic.”
Ho Ching is also an advisor to the Autism Resource Centre, a not-for-profit charity, in Singapore.