ME AND MY CAR

Clean is in

Whatever car Mr Amos Mok has, you can be sure it is in pristine condition

As they say, cleanliness is next to godliness. This phrase just about sums up the way Mr Amos Mok deals with everything.

The 47-year-old car workshop owner is so fastidious about his belongings being spotless and neatly arranged that it has become second nature to him.

"I don't like it at all when I see dirt or dust in my house or work area. And if it is not wiped or vacuumed, I cannot function normally," he says. "It will stay in my head until it gets cleaned or I go bonkers."

Mr Mok loves cars and changes them regularly. Currently, he has a Porsche Cayman S, BMW 650i Coupe and Porsche Cayenne GTS.

"Often, I buy cars from customers of my workshop. It makes perfect sense as their cars are being cared for by my workshop, hence I can be sure that they are all in fine fettle," he says.


Mr Amos Mok is fussy about what is allowed inside his cars, (from far left) a BMW 650i Coupe, Porsche Cayenne GTS and Porsche Cayman S, but he makes an exception for his fur-shedding dog, Waffles. PHOTO: TONY TAN

The BMW coupe is used by his wife, a tax consultant, while he drives either the Cayman S or the Cayenne GTS.

He had a Porsche 911 GT3 RS previously and while the Cayman is not as powerful, he loves its superb handling. "The Cayman S features a mid-engine configuration, so its balance is really nice. You never feel like you are not in control, even when taking a bend at high speed," he says.

The Cayman has only two seats, so the larger Cayenne is the ride of choice when there are more passengers to ferry around.

The Moks do not have children, but Waffles - a four-year-old stray which they adopted from a dog shelter in 2014 - is a regular passenger in the SUV.

But wait, aren't dogs known to shed? How does Waffles fit into Mr Mok's clean and neat universe then?


What's in the boot:•Flippers •Kickboard •Hand paddles •Slippers •Bag containing towel and swim trunks PHOTO: TONY TAN

Mr Mok admits that Waffles is the first dog he has had that sheds, and initially "it was a real struggle for me whenever I came across his fur in the house and car".

"Over time, I got used to it. But I still ensure that he is bathed and combed regularly, and all the places he likes to go to are swept and vacuumed daily so the mess is kept to a minimum," he says.

His wife and his employees have to follow strict instructions before getting into the cars, though.

Objects with sharp ends or edges such as keys, bracelets and rings are not allowed. Even watches with metal straps are banned.

If they are carrying any of these or other similar items, they must take them off before getting in.

"My wife once complained that I didn't allow her to wear her favourite pair of jeans because it had metal studs and might scratch the seat," Mr Mok laughs.

He walks the talk too. "I swim regularly as I am training for a competition... I take note to towel myself bone dry before entering the car. Water droplets are a no-no," he says.

But being overly fussy and finicky about cleanliness has its advantage.

"Whenever customers come to my workshop and see how carefully we handle their cars... they are immediately impressed," he says.

When asked what his dream car is, he quips: "I would like a super sports car that cleans itself automatically, inside and outside, after every drive."

•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2016, with the headline 'Clean is in'. Print Edition | Subscribe