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The Straits Times
Sept 13, 2023
It was less than two hours before the end of Mr Syahril Hosaini’s shift as an assistant station manager at Buona Vista MRT station when a little girl approached him and a colleague at around 9pm on Aug 25, lost and looking for help to get home.
The 10-year-old girl, who was clad in school uniform, looked tired and as if she had been out the whole day, said Mr Syahril, 32.
“Her phone battery was at 5 per cent, and she said her parents were overseas,” said Mr Syahril.
He retrieved the contact for the girl’s cousin from her mobile phone and informed the cousin of her whereabouts.
“We offered to buy her food from the McDonald’s upstairs as well, but she didn’t want it. We could tell she just wanted to get home.”
Mr Syahril and station ambassador Ms Vasaki then booked a private-hire car and escorted her to her home, which was about 4km away from the station.
“We just wanted to ensure that she had a safe journey home, and that was what is most important to us,” said Mr Syahril.
This was not the first time in his four years working at Buona Vista MRT that Mr Syahril had gone beyond the call of duty to help someone.
In April, he and his colleague Ms Archanavalli helped to locate the owner of a wandering dog.
“At around 6am when the station just opened, someone informed us that there was a dog wandering outside the station,” said Mr Syahril.
Ms Archanavalli brought the dog to the passenger service centre, but soon her shift ended while Mr Syahril started his shift.
He tried to contact the dog’s owner through the number on the dog’s collar, fed the dog some biscuits and rubbed its back to calm it down. Mr Syahril revealed that his natural affinity for the dog stemmed from his love of animals, and his previous aspiration of wanting to work with police dogs.
As it was early in the morning, the dog’s owner did not answer his calls until later.
“Eventually, at around 7.30am, we managed to reach the owner, who then came down to pick up his dog,” he said.
In February 2021, Mr Hosaini received the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) Community Partnership Award from the police, for helping TransCom officers in their efforts to apprehend a suspect.
Even though assisting passengers is part of Mr Syahril’s duties as an assistant station manager, he believes in the importance of helping others beyond the call of duty.
“One of the things SMRT taught me is the value of empathy, and to put ourselves in the passengers’ shoes. Have empathy, and be firm. We have to have good and strong values so that our passengers are comfortable and trust us,” said Mr Syahril, who celebrated his seven-year work anniversary at SMRT on Wednesday.
“It needs to be in practice even outside of working hours. If not us, who else?”