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Meet the two Daddy Khoos
by Pamela Chow

WHAT makes a super dad?

One can turn to businessman and motivational speaker Adam Khoo, 36, for that answer.

While he does not get to spend as much time with his family as he would like, he is intent on making sure that every moment counts.

"When I'm not working, I take my kids out to special places like the zoo, the bird park, or Universal Studios. In fact, we have season passes to these places," said Mr Khoo, who often works late into the night and travels frequently for work.

"I still wish I could do more with my kids though," he said.

He is a father of two daughters: Kelly, aged six, and Samantha, aged four.

When it comes to what inspires him to go all out for his family, work plays a huge role for Mr Khoo, who is also a counsellor.

"I deal with kids and teenagers' behavioural, attitude, academic or anger problems, and I realise that parents' involvement in their children's lives helps to steer them in the right direction.

"I make sure I'm in my kids' lives. And my wife works from home, so she's able to spend much more time with the kids. She's a super mum," he said of his wife, investments director Sally Ong.

He is one of four judges for Singapore's inaugural Similac Super Dad Award - along with Professor Daniel Goh, president of the Singapore Pediatric Society; actress Zoe Tay; and Ms Hui Hwa Koh-Minjoot, general manager of Abbott Nutrition International.

One might call him a super dad, but Mr Khoo does not feel he fits the bill just yet.

While looking through the profiles of Super Dad nominees, he came across several fathers who took on multiple jobs to raise their children.

There were even cases of dads who gave up their jobs to spend more time with their kids, Mr Khoo said.

The award, organised by Abbott Nutrition and supported by the national DadsforLife movement, recognises fathers who take on an active role in their children's lives.

The winners will be unveiled tomorrow at Marriott Hotel.

On what he thinks makes a super dad, Mr Khoo said fathers should take shared responsibility for raising the family; promote bonding between children and their grandparents; and be actively concerned about kids' education, health, and mental and social development.

Mr Khoo was brought up by his father, Mr Vince Khoo, 66. His parents divorced when he was about 12, and his father was given custody.

The elder Mr Khoo - who runs his own advertising agency - takes an active role in his grandchildren's lives, and is often included in family outings and annual holidays.

"He's my role model," said the younger Mr Khoo proudly.

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