Ms Azah Sibun, Business Partnerships

Azar Sibun BP Full

Inspired by the Agatha Christie novels she read as a child, Ms Azah Sibun dreamed of becoming a police officer. Connecting the dots from the clues littered between the pages of the book, she would solve the mystery before the end of the story.

“Even then, I was already quite inquisitive and detail-oriented. I thought I would make a good police officer,” laughed Azah.

When she finished her A-levels at the age of 18, she applied to join the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Service. The Public Service Division was the first to offer her a job, and that was where she headed.

Her meticulousness quickly made her a valuable asset to her managers and colleagues. “Back then, when I had to make photocopies, I would make sure that the photocopy looked as good as the original. We were sending these documents out to other ministries and I felt we had to set a high standard, even if it was just photocopies,” Azah explained.

After 18 years with PSD, Azah was ready to leave for the private sector in 1996.  Her former manager had invited Azah to join her at her new company, with a substantial pay increase. “I was earning around $1,600 then, and the new company was offering me $2,100. That was a lot of money back then,” recounted Azah.

By then, PSD had become like family to Azah, so she was torn between staying and leaving. When she confided in close colleagues about her decision to join the private sector, the overwhelming support and encouragement she received gave her the confidence to step out to try something different.

Much as she was enthusiastic to take on new challenges, the new job was not what Azah had expected, and she soon began to miss PSD. When she broached the subject of returning to PSD with her former managers, they welcomed her back with open arms.

“I learnt one very important lesson then, that at any job, the people were what mattered. That’s why I’ve stayed at PSD since. These 37 years, I’ve had the good fortune of meeting great bosses and colleagues who appreciate what I do. They make me want to come to work every day,” said Azah.

 

Azah is one of PSD’s four recipients of the 2016 PS21 Star Award. For the profiles of the other awardees, click here.

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