She flies S'pore flag with shipowners

Ms Emily Shalawati Sihab of the MPA says: "Our relationship with customers is sometimes like that of a married couple - they can be demanding and we might have disagree- ments, but we still make up at the end of the day."
Ms Emily Shalawati Sihab of the MPA says: "Our relationship with customers is sometimes like that of a married couple - they can be demanding and we might have disagree- ments, but we still make up at the end of the day."PHOTO: MPA

Ms Emily Shalawati Sihab
Senior Manager (Registry), Registry Department,
Shipping Division Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
The Commendation Medal

Helping disgruntled firms understand the requirements to get their ships registered under the Singapore flag might sometimes be a challenging experience.

But Ms Emily Shalawati Sihab, 41, who has been a senior manager (Registry) at the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) for 17 years, takes it all in her stride and finds satisfaction from seeing her work contribute to the good reputation of the Singapore Registry of Ships, which is the fifth largest in the world.

"It's a rewarding and fulfilling job. Our relationship with the customers is sometimes like that of a married couple - they can be demanding and we might have disagreements, but we still make up at the end of the day," said Ms Emily.

For her work, she received the Commendation Medal this year, her first National Day award.

There are more than 4,700 vessels on the Singapore registry, with a gross tonnage of over 88 million. Ms Emily's job involves ensuring that ships meet the requirements to get a Certificate of Registry from the MPA, which is akin to a Singapore passport for travellers.

Explaining the importance of maintaining high service standards, she said: "If more shipowners choose Singapore to register their ships because of our good service, then it will have a domino effect on the economy, such as creating more jobs here."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2017, with the headline 'She flies S'pore flag with shipowners'. Print Edition | Subscribe