Foreign worker lauded for roadside assistance

Mr Venkateswaran (in red), a lorry driver from India, was one of two people who helped to replace a motorist's car tyre on Wednesday.
Mr Venkateswaran (in red), a lorry driver from India, was one of two people who helped to replace a motorist's car tyre on Wednesday.PHOTO: STOMP

Replacing a car tyre is no sweat for an experienced lorry driver such as Mr Gopal Venkateswaran.

So it surprised the 37-year-old Indian national when his efforts in helping a motorist replace a tyre on Wednesday were publicised online.

Mr Venkateswaran was not the only good Samaritan on site - another lorry driver, whose name is not known but is believed to be Singaporean, also chipped in.

The motorist, Mr Christopher Goh, 49, a senior consultant at a human resources company, wrote about the incident on citizen journalism website Stomp yesterday.

He wrote: "Foreign workers not only contribute significantly to Singapore's economy, but also readily assist anyone in need of help. Thank you!"

Mr Goh said the tyre was replaced in less than 15 minutes.

He was driving home on the Central Expressway when his car's rear right tyre was punctured at about 5.10pm.

He slowly drove to a construction site where cable tunnels are being built, next to Hong Wen School near the Balestier Road exit.

While Mr Goh and his wife were trying to replace the tyre, Mr Venkateswaran, who works for SK E&C, the construction firm, went up to help. Another man, also a lorry driver but not from his company, also lent a hand, said Mr Venkateswaran, who has worked here for about seven years.

He told The Straits Times yesterday: "I saw that (Mr Goh) and his wife were struggling to replace the tyre so I just went to help. I know they took photos but I am surprised that they posted these online."

Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan said: "There is kindness in all of us, regardless of our race or nationality. I am inspired by both the workers who helped and the driver who made it a point to express his appreciation by telling the story of the workers' kindness."

Safety manager Vijay Anand, 40, who is also from SK E&C, said some colleagues had circulated an e-mail about the Stomp post. "It is a proud moment for us," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2017, with the headline 'Foreign worker lauded for roadside assistance'. Print Edition | Subscribe