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The Straits Times
March 3, 2023
Ms Lim Xiaoli was strolling home from Junction 9 in Yishun with her five-year-old daughter on Nov 1, 2022, when she heard a commotion ahead.
An accident involving two cars, a motorcycle and two pedestrians had just taken place at a carpark. Her elder sister, who was carrying her four-month-old baby, was there and shouted for her attention.
Ms Lim rushed over. Her heart sank when she saw her mother and teenage daughter badly injured after being hit by a grey Mazda with a pregnant woman at the wheel.
“I was horrified. There was lots of blood all over the floor and my mum was conscious, but her head was bleeding quite badly,” said Ms Lim.
“My daughter was also conscious when I arrived, but I was told that she was trapped under the car and might have died,” the 41-year-old single mother said.
“She was not moving until a few migrant workers lifted the car and pulled her out.”
Ms Lim Xiaoli (second from right) with (from left) her elder daughter Kaelyn, mother Ong Kim Hong and younger daughter Kayenne. Photo: The Straits Times
Prior to the accident, Ms Lim and her family were having lunch at the neighbourhood shopping mall before walking home separately.
Her mother, 64-year-old Ong Kim Hong, was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Her elder daughter, 15-year-old Kaelyn Ho, was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. They have recovered, although Madam Ong is still coping with pain in her arms and legs.
Police investigations are still ongoing.
Hoping to thank the migrant workers who lifted the badly damaged car to free her daughter, Ms Lim approached Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng to help look for the heroes.
In February, they managed to meet four of the workers – Mr Md Abuhaiat Nurnobi, Mr Miah Eadhu, Mr Alam Jahangir and Mr Molla Mohammad Sayem – to thank them personally. Another two workers, Mr Belal Md Shababuddin and Mr Khobir, were absent but they each received a thank-you gift.
From left: Md Abuhaiat Nurnobi, Belal Md Shababuddin, Miah Eadhu, Alam Jahangir, Molla Mohammad Sayem and Khobir helped lift the car to free Ms Lim Xiaoli’s daughter Kaelyn. Photo: The Straits Times
Mr Nurnobi, who comes from Bangladesh and has been working in Singapore for about five years, said the workers were doing horticulture maintenance around the Yishun carpark when they saw the accident.
“A car drove very fast and suddenly crashed into two people. There was a lot of blood and one of them was stuck under the car tyre,” said the 25-year-old.
“We didn’t think too much and rushed over together to lift the car up to save the girl, as we were afraid she might die.”
In a Facebook post on Feb 20, Mr Ng also complimented the workers for “helping to make Singapore a shining red dot”.
For their bravery, each of the six migrant workers will be presented with the Community Lifesaver Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force on Monday morning.
Ms Lim works as an administrative officer at a tuition centre and also has a son, 18. After the accident, the mother of three took two months of unpaid leave to care for her mother and Kaelyn. Her mother still has difficulty taking showers and putting on clothes on her own, as she cannot lift her arms.
“It was a difficult period, as I had to settle all the housework and meals, but things are a little bit better now. My sister will also occasionally come over to take care of the kids and help out with other duties,” she said.
Ms Lim was grateful that Mr Ng sought financial assistance for her when she was on no-pay leave.
She is still trying to seek compensation from the driver, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the accident.
Ms Lim also thanked two helpful passers-by whom she did not manage to locate. “Both of them stayed with my mother and daughter during the accident. One of them held my daughter’s hand throughout to reassure her while the other helped to stop my mum’s bleeding,” she said.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”