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Health, Beauty & Fashion

MP's Kate Spade going, going, gone for $1,600

Tin Pei Ling's designer bag sold at auction to raise funds for Aware.
The Straits Times - September 11, 2012
By: Jessica Lim
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MP's Kate Spade going, going, gone for $1,600 Dr Wong Ting Hway (right), with her year-old baby Hsing Chih, chatting with Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling, whose yellow Kate Spade bag (background, right) was among 50 items up for auction at the Aware event. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

THE Kate Spade bag - the one that Ms Tin Pei Ling most famously posed with in a leaked picture during the general election last year - has been sold for a cool $1,600.

The three-year-old bag, which the MP for Marine Parade GRC received as a birthday gift from her husband, went under the hammer at a fund-raising gala yesterday evening. The starting bid was $500 and there were three bids made.

Proceeds will go to funding the Association of Women for Action and Research's (Aware's) support services, which include counselling and free legal aid for women.

The buyer, a 29-year-old man who works in the marine trading industry and who declined to be named, bought the bag as a present for his mother.

"I wanted to show support for Aware's programmes and the new generation of the People's Action Party," he said.

Ms Tin, 29, said she was approached by Aware to put the bag up for auction in June.

The MP, who was present at the dinner yesterday at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, said: "When Aware approached me for this bag, I thought it was a bold and creative idea."

Adding that her husband had bought the bag for her at a sale, she said: "Both of us agreed it was for a worthy cause, and he was very supportive."

She said the bag had cost about $500. It was among 50 items - ranging from artwork and jewellery to vacation packages - up for auction yesterday.

The gala event, which attracted 374 people and raised more than $200,000 - inclusive of ticket payments for seats - also featured the Aware Awards 2012.

In their second year, the awards recognise those who have made significant contributions towards gender equality.

This year's winners include senior correspondent at The Straits Times Radha Basu for her stories focusing on marginalised groups, such as domestic workers and victims of human trafficking; the chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People executive committee, Mr Mark Goh, for advocating for the rights of foreign domestic workers and foreign-born wives of Singapore citizens; and Goldman Sachs for developing initiatives in the workplace to foster female talent and a women-friendly work environment.

"I feel very humbled and also honoured that these stories are being recognised," said Ms Basu, who thanked her editors for their support.

"I believe journalists have the power to craft positive change and I am interested in the marginalised because they need a voice."

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