Meet The Unbelievables: Star Service Award Winners Who Stun With Their Service

These four winners of the PS21 Star Service Award will blow you away with their stellar service. Styling by Sheh. Clothes by Banana Republic and Gap
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My service to the residents knows no boundary.

– People’s Association Constituency Manager Ricky Chew, who makes himself available to his clients 24/7.

Charged with ensuring residents’ well-being at Bedok Reservoir, Mr Ricky Chew tries his utmost to improve their lives – even if it means losing some sleep. To help a resident, whose family was struggling to make ends meet, he met the mother of three young children after her late night shift to help her with financial aid and job applications. He then returned to the office at 4am to process the paperwork as he knew she urgently needed the money. “Problems don’t know holidays,” said the 27-year-old. “So long as whatever I’m doing could help somebody, I’m more than happy.”

To engage with residents, the zealous officer has picked up conversational Tamil and Malay, on top of Hokkien and Cantonese. He is ever-ready to field phone calls from residents around the clock, even giving out both his mobile phone numbers “in case one battery dies” and residents can’t reach him. To residents, Mr Chew is the “very familiar face” whose help can be counted on – any time.


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She is the most compassionate person I know – the kind of person who goes out of her way to help the less fortunate students every day

– A Mayflower Secondary School staff commends Senior School Counsellor Christina John for her dedication to her charges.

Seven years into her counselling job, Mrs Christina John continues to wow students, parents and her colleagues with the devotion she gives to each student, personalising her approach every time. When a special needs student skipped school, she kept in touch with him and his mother through phone calls and home visits, often outside her working hours. The student had developed anxiety after being bullied in school, which resulted in fear of attending school and a distrust of adults. Mrs John persevered in reaching out and the student warmed up after months of her patient attention. He was eventually convinced to return to school after nearly a year of absence.

Other than arranging for teachers to give the student private lessons to help him catch up, Mrs John also sat in class with him after he re-joined his peers to observe his challenges and help him overcome them. “There is potential in everyone... I want to help students realise that potential and be the best that they can be,” said the enthusiastic 52-year-old, when asked what drives her work. Mrs John also organises support programmes for students from single parent families and volunteers to join students for learning journeys to strengthen her relationship with them.


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You’re not working for yourself. You’re working for your ministry and the whole of government.

– A reminder from the MSF Service Excellence Executive Nelly Faizal, who goes beyond organisational boundaries to help citizens.

Cool-headed Ms Nelly Faizal has a knack for dealing with aggressive customers, even when they threaten to overturn tables or demand to see her bosses. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) officer spends time listening to them vent their frustrations before offering solutions – a tack that has won over many disgruntled clients in her four years at the MSF. Praised one client: “Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for providing a listening ear. You’ve proved that you really wanted to help and I can feel it.”

The gregarious 27-year-old frequently handles complicated cases that are beyond her ministry’s jurisdiction. Taking the “no wrong door” policy to the next level, she stays updated on other organisations’ policies so that she can explain them to confused customers. If she refers a client to another agency, she never fails to follow up to make sure the request has been addressed. She once impressed an elderly couple so much that they waited at the MSF lobby to thank her personally for her help with their daughter’s case with one agency. Ms Nelly had helped them appeal to the relevant agency after they had been rejected several times.


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We couldn’t have done it without you.

– United States Vice-President Joe Biden, praising Republic of Singapore Air Force Operations Specialist Koh Chan Howe for tackling last-minute changes for his trip to Singapore in 2013.

Military Expert 2 (ME2) Koh Chan Howe makes travelling to Singapore a cinch for foreign dignitaries and their entourages when they land at Paya Lebar Air Base. The high security demands, last-minute changes and numerous ground support requests neither frazzle nor frustrate ME2 Koh, who coordinates flights and processes the diplomatic clearance required for landing.

When US Vice-President Joe Biden visited in 2013, ME2 Koh went beyond his job scope to advise his US counterparts on issues such as the use of the left-hand-drive cars that were specially flown into Singapore. He often takes the initiative to be the single point of contact for his foreign counterparts, liaising with government agencies like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All this, said his British counterparts, is done with “courteous professionalism and good humour”. The Australians have also written in to say that his advice is “always accurate and timely, even if contacted after hours or on weekends”. In response, the humble 30-year-old simply shrugs off his efforts as part of his duties: “To me, it’s second nature to help.”

  • POSTED ON
    Sep 2, 2015
  • TEXT BY
    Tay Qiao Wei
  • PHOTOS BY
    Teck, Lumina
  • ART DIRECTION BY
    Yip Siew Fei
    Hair and Makeup by Rina Sim
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