Bus driver gets praise for kind acts

Mr Mohamad Farif Shahbudin got off the bus to help a frail old woman, who was using a walking frame, cross a busy street.
Mr Mohamad Farif Shahbudin got off the bus to help a frail old woman, who was using a walking frame, cross a busy street.PHOTO: COURTESY OF NIRNA SARNIN

He may have been a bus captain for only two months, but Mr Mohamad Farif Shahbudin has already warmed the hearts of passengers.

Property agent Nirna Sarnin, 34, who is seven months pregnant, wrote on Facebook about how the 27-year-old SBS driver had spotted her struggling to make it to the stop and waited for her. Her post went on to be shared almost 5,000 times.

"As I was waddling towards the bus stop and saw the bus approaching, I made a gesture, hopeful he would see me from afar," she wrote, explaining how Mr Farif waited patiently for her to board his bus, Service 3, in Tampines Street 21.

"His sincere, warm smile and 'you're welcome' greeted my panting 'thank you'."

Two bus stops later, Ms Nirna watched him help a frail old woman, who was using a walking frame, to cross a busy street.

"I saw her struggling to cross as I was about to drive off from the bus stop," Mr Farif explained in a mixture of Malay and English. "No cars were stopping and, at that moment, I decided to help her."

After helping the woman up his bus, he apologised to all the passengers for the delay before carrying on his journey.

It was an equally memorable day for Malaysian national Mr Farif, who is due to marry next month. He recalled how the old woman was so grateful, she thanked him profusely after alighting at Tampines Interchange and said: "You are a very good man."

Another male passenger also thanked him for "doing the right job".

However, Mr Farif was quick to brush off the attention, and said: "It's wrong if I see nobody helping her and I don't do anything. If I help other people's mothers, maybe someone will help my mother.

I just feel happy to be able to help others."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Bus driver gets praise for kind acts'. Print Edition | Subscribe