Royce Lee Han Loon is a chef at Mahota Mbox located at Century Square. He found his calling in the culinary world while serving his time for drug consumption and money laundering in 2004. At that time, Royce was given a very special opportunity to be the Executive Chef for a fundraiser Dinning Behind Bars organised by the Yellow Ribbon Fund. He was in charge of planning and executing western and local luncheon menus for the Ministers of State and VIPs.
During his stint as an Executive Chef, he took the opportunity to create several festive- theme desserts and this had won many praises from the diners who outstandingly impressed by the standard of the cuisine served behind bars in 2007. Over 10 years, even though he was imprisoned once again, his drive to reinstate into the society did not diminish. In 2017, after his release, he works his way up as a chef in Makhota Supermarket, after a failed joint restaurant business in Geylang.
His concerted effort was being paid off when he participated in the Celebrity Chef Challenge in MediaCorp. He has made distinctive achievement during the show “King of culinary 8” where the art of creative and fine culinary skills were flaunted in the cuisine he had prepared. (Please lookout for the results on Channel 8 from 3rd July 2019 onwards).
Royce has received good guidance from the various prison support groups ever since his release in 2017. Recently it rang a bell that he should start reciprocating by contributing to the society. He started joining his colleague in the Helping Hand support group with the aim to share his testimony to the residents there, hoping that it will bring some encouragement to them.
He has also fulfilled his dream of wanting to be filial to his parents especially his wonderful and supportive mother, because he has actually proclaimed his love to his mother in the national television by telling her – “Mommy , I have finally done it, I have finally succeeded !”
The court has sentenced us for all of our crimes, each and every one of the bad things we have done, and we have served our times. Many times,majority of the ex convicts would only just want to take back what we have lost over the years, but sadly to say, the society actually give us a life sentence instead, By sharing my testimony, I strongly feel the urge to be an exemplary to each and every ex-convict who is willing to change the stereotyping tag that the society has named them. I want to tell the society to not merely give ex-convicts a 2nd chance, but rather another chance to look at us in a different angle, perhaps a better and more prospective view on those who are willing and are trying their very best to integrate into this society once again.