Singapore — 2021 celebrates the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Under this, an animal and its attributes are assigned to each year in a 12-year cycle.
Those born in the Year of the Ox are diligent, dependable and determined to get the job done.
Oxes attain their goals due to their forbearance, persistence and hunger for progress. They are unswayed by others and accomplish goals according to their own standards. Through their habits of having meticulous plans and possession of immense strength, they often enjoy considerable success.
However, some may falter in their communications with others, choosing to remain more solitary instead of sharing ideas with their counterparts. Their tendency to stick to their beliefs also results in arguments.
This year, Oxes are deemed compatible with people born in the year of the Rat, Monkey and Rooster, whilst their relationships with those born in the year of the Tiger, Dragon, Horse and Goat are less suitable.
The ox is the second of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. Each year has an element linked to its animal sign — Wood, Water, Metal, Earth and Fire. This is the Year of the Metal Ox.
The lucky colours include white, yellow and green, with the lucky gemstone being aquamarine.
Here are some local personalities. Did you know they were born in the Year of the Ox?
Olivia Ong (1985, Wood Ox)
Olivia Ong, 35, is a singer and actress. She began a career in showbiz when she was only 15 years old. After moving to Japan in 2005, she signed on to a Japanese recording company and produced mainly jazz covers. She now has a repertoire in four languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. You might recognise her voice as the lead singer in the 2012 National Day Parade (NDP) song Love at First Light, as well as the theme song of the drama The Little Nyonya. Still single, she regularly posts pictures of her workouts on Instagram and has a close-knit community of friends to hang out with.
Heng Swee Keat (1961, Metal Ox)
Mr Heng Swee Keat, 60, is the current Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, as well as Member of Parliament for East Coast GRC with the People’s Action Party. He had been the Minister of Finance since 2015 and was previously Minister of Education. He is married to Ms Chang Hwee Nee, Chief Executive Officer of the National Heritage Board. They have 2 children.
Vivian Balakrishnan (1961, Metal Ox)
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, 59, is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative since 2020. A member of the People’s Action Party, he has been a Member of Parliament since 2001. In the General Election last year, he was in the PAP team elected in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. He was previously Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, as well as the Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, and Trade and Industry. He is married to Ms Joy Balakrishnan. They have four children.
Tommy Koh (1937, Fire Ox)
Professor Tommy Koh, 83, is a Singaporean international lawyer and diplomat. The Rector of Tembusu College, Prof Koh is also Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of the Centre for International Law of NUS; Special Advisor of the Institute of Policy Studies; and Chairman of the National Heritage Board. He was also Singapore’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He is married to Ms Poh Siew Aing. They have two sons.
Lina Loh (1949, Earth Ox)
Ms Lina Loh, also known as Mrs Lina Chiam, is a Singaporean opposition politician. She and her husband, Mr Chiam See Tong, are with the Singapore People’s Party (SPP). Mr Chiam has the honour of being the second-longest-serving opposition Member of Parliament (27 years) after Mr Low Thia Khiang of the Workers’ Party (29 years). Although Mrs Chiam has not won any election, she served as a Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) from May 12, 2011 to Aug 23, 2015. They have a daughter.
Pierre Png (1973, Water Ox)
Pierre Png, 47, is a Singaporean actor of Peranakan descent. He is known for starring in multiple MediaCorp Channel 5 and Channel 8 dramas, with recent works, including The Gentlemen and When Duty Calls. He made an appearance in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians and has been among the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes multiple times. He is married to actress and psychologist Andrea De Cruz, 46. Their relationship was made public after De Cruz suffered from liver failure due to consumption of Slim 10 pills and Png donated half his liver to her.
Shabir (1985, Wood Ox)
Shabir Tabare Alam is a national award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer, music composer and performer from Singapore. He rose to fame after winning the inaugural singing competition Vasantham Star 2005. You might recognise his works from his performance of the 2007 NDP song Will You, as well as the 2012 Tamil NDP song Singai Naadu. This 2012 song was praised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and also earned him the Singapore Youth Award. He has two daughters, Ameera and Alesha Shabir.
Irfan Fandi (1997, Fire Ox)
The son of famous footballer Fandi Ahmad, Irfan Fandi, 23, is also a footballer. The Singaporean professional footballer plays for Thai League 1 club BG Pathum United and the Singapore national team. In 2013, he was listed as one of Goal.com’s Top 20 Southeast Asian Rising Stars and later in 2014 was also named as one of The Guardian’s 40 best young talents in world football. His mother Wendy Jacobs was a former model while his sister Iman is currently modelling. His brothers Ikhsan, Ilhan and Iryan are all footballers.
Gerard Ee (1949, Earth Ox)
Mr Gerard Ee, 72, is a public figure championing social service rights and issues in Singapore. He is the son of the late Ee Peng Liang, a philanthropist and the “Father of Charity” in Singapore. Mr Ee is the chairman of the National Kidney Foundation, as well as the Ministerial Salary Review Committee. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1993, the Public Service Star in 2003 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2007. Additionally, in 2018, he was awarded Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). He is married to Ms Celine Ee and has 2 children.
Denise Teh is an editorial intern at The Independent SG. /TISG
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