AT 5.30am every day, Mr Lim Sin Gee gets up. After reminding his son to get out of bed, he heads out on a motorcycle to eat breakfast.
Then the well-built man, who turns 65 next March, climbs into the white cab of his lorry crane and begins his work. He does not return home until 10pm or 11pm sometimes.
This is routine for him. It did not change when he turned 62, and he hopes it will continue. "I enjoy driving and I know that I'm earning money to support my family, so that keeps me satisfied," he says in Mandarin.
The worksite he drives to starts below the Kranji Expressway and stretches 1.8km down Woodlands Road. He has been on this project for more than half of his eight years with construction company Lum Chang Building Contractors.
Sporting a luminescent vest, hard hat and whistle, the father of two spends his days - all seven days a week - ferrying materials. The crane boom helps him load and unload heavy items like timber from the lorry.
As the oldest worker on site, Mr Lim admits he sometimes scolds other workers if he sees them doing things messily or too slowly. This knack for efficiency has earned him the nickname "Rocket Man" among co-workers. His tanned but barely wizened face breaks into a smile: "Everyone calls me 'uncle' or 'older brother'. Even the foreign workers will ask me to eat or drink."
Mr Lim supports his family of four with his pay of around $3,000 a month. His wife, 59, takes on odd jobs occasionally. His daughter, 25, studies part-time and works to pay for her tuition fees, and his son, 20, is doing his national service.
"My son might continue studying after that, so I must work until he can earn his own money," says Mr Lim.
His daughter, Joyce, says she is proud of him for being able to work at this age and remain fit and healthy. "But I wish he could retire next year as I think he really needs a break from his work as he has been supporting our family all this while."
While other workers worry about whether or not they will be re-employed, Mr Lim does not think about it. "When the time comes around every year, the 'up there' will call me up to go for the medical check-up, and then they send me a contract letter to sign," he says.
And so far the firm has found his work up to scratch. "His work is not easy," says Mr Lim's supervisor, assistant project manager Chern Chee Kheang. "He has to repeat the same job over and over, keep to site access schedules and deal with a lot of people every day."
Mr Lim has a kept a clean record, with no speeding or near misses. He rarely goes on urgent leave or medical leave, Mr Chern adds. "With his skills, positive attitude and dedication to the company, the answer is a big 'yes': we will continue to hire him as long as he is healthy and willing."
In his straightforward manner, Mr Lim says that he is definitely willing. "If there is a job for me, I'll do it. If I can't stay on in this job, I'll have to find another, even if it is sweeping the roads," he says.
"Someone has to provide for the family."

AT 5.30am every day, Mr Lim Sin Gee gets up. After reminding his son to get out of bed, he heads out on a motorcycle to eat breakfast.

Then the well-built man, who turns 65 next March, climbs into the white cab of his lorry crane and begins his work. He does not return home until 10pm or 11pm sometimes.

This is routine for him. It did not change when he turned 62, and he hopes it will continue. "I enjoy driving and I know that I'm earning money to support my family, so that keeps me satisfied," he says in Mandarin.

The worksite he drives to starts below the Kranji Expressway and stretches 1.8km down Woodlands Road. He has been on this project for more than half of his eight years with construction company Lum Chang Building Contractors.

Sporting a luminescent vest, hard hat and whistle, the father of two spends his days - all seven days a week - ferrying materials. The crane boom helps him load and unload heavy items like timber from the lorry.

As the oldest worker on site, Mr Lim admits he sometimes scolds other workers if he sees them doing things messily or too slowly. This knack for efficiency has earned him the nickname "Rocket Man" among co-workers. His tanned but barely wizened face breaks into a smile: "Everyone calls me 'uncle' or 'older brother'. Even the foreign workers will ask me to eat or drink."

Mr Lim supports his family of four with his pay of around $3,000 a month. His wife, 59, takes on odd jobs occasionally. His daughter, 25, studies part-time and works to pay for her tuition fees, and his son, 20, is doing his national service.

"My son might continue studying after that, so I must work until he can earn his own money," says Mr Lim.

His daughter, Joyce, says she is proud of him for being able to work at this age and remain fit and healthy. "But I wish he could retire next year as I think he really needs a break from his work as he has been supporting our family all this while."

While other workers worry about whether or not they will be re-employed, Mr Lim does not think about it. "When the time comes around every year, the 'up there' will call me up to go for the medical check-up, and then they send me a contract letter to sign," he says.

And so far the firm has found his work up to scratch. "His work is not easy," says Mr Lim's supervisor, assistant project manager Chern Chee Kheang. "He has to repeat the same job over and over, keep to site access schedules and deal with a lot of people every day."

Mr Lim has a kept a clean record, with no speeding or near misses. He rarely goes on urgent leave or medical leave, Mr Chern adds. "With his skills, positive attitude and dedication to the company, the answer is a big 'yes': we will continue to hire him as long as he is healthy and willing."

In his straightforward manner, Mr Lim says that he is definitely willing. "If there is a job for me, I'll do it. If I can't stay on in this job, I'll have to find another, even if it is sweeping the roads," he says.

"Someone has to provide for the family."