Singaporeans unite: 5 acts of kindness that prove kampung spirit still alive and well

Clockwise from top left: Singaporeans unite to move a fallen tree; rescue a man trapped under a lorry; shield a fallen woman from oncoming traffic; rescue a stranded otter pup and help an injured driver out of his crashed van.
Clockwise from top left: Singaporeans unite to move a fallen tree; rescue a man trapped under a lorry; shield a fallen woman from oncoming traffic; rescue a stranded otter pup and help an injured driver out of his crashed van. PHOTOS: MIKE GOH, FOO SUAN WANG, SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS, NICK SOO AND WILLIAM LEE

SINGAPORE - Who says there is no longer any kampung spirit in Singapore?

When trouble arises, Singaporeans have shown that they can band together in the face of adversity and help those in need.

Here are five heart-warming acts to prove it.

1. Crashed van near Sports Hub

There was no shortage of helping hands when a van crashed into a tree along Stadium drive on Monday (March 13). The driver was trapped and large branches were scattered all over the road.

The van driver was helped out of his vehicle after several passers-by moved the tree, as its branches were obstructing the door.

Others helped to direct traffic.

2. Fallen tree along Kaki Bukit Avenue 1


Drivers and passers-by helping to move the tree that was blocking the entire road. PHOTO: MIKE GOH

Many hands made light work of moving a hefty three-storey-tall tree that had toppled over during heavy rain on March 6.

With a line of stuck cars extending some 30m behind the tree, about 10 people - comprising drivers and several onlookers - tried twice to remove the tree but failed.

But as the group later doubled in size, the third attempt proved to be the charm.

3. Otter pup separated from family at Kallang Basin

A late-night rescue effort by 15 otter watchers helped reunite an otter pup with its family, the famous "Bishan 13", in January 2017.

The pup had wandered off to the middle of the Kallang River and was in danger of exhausting itself or falling prey to predators. It was eventually saved by the watchers and returned to the family's den.

"It's nice to see how the otters have brought the kampung spirit back," said Mr N. Sivasothi, an otter watcher and biological sciences lecturer at the National University of Singapore.

4. Woman who hit her head on bus in Chinatown


The woman being attended to by SCDF personnel. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

A dizzy spell caused a woman in her 40s, who was at a bus stop outside People's Park Complex on Nov 17, 2015, to hit her head against a stationary bus and fall down.

But she was protected against oncoming traffic as a "human wall" of Good Samaritans formed swiftly to ensure her safety.

They also tended to her head wound which was bleeding profusely, with ice.

5. Man trapped under lorry at Boon Keng Road

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpiPyhMcHdM

The "kampung spirit award" of 2015 belonged to a group of passers-by who rescued a South Korean man, 35-year-old Kim Sung Mo, who was hit by a lorry and ended up trapped under it.

"Everyone spontaneously joined in and there was no need to tell them," said Mr Foo Suan Wang, who filmed the incident and posted a video on Facebook.

Seven of the rescuers were rewarded with a five-day trip to South Korea. The effort was one of several inspiring acts re-enacted in an NTUC Income advertisement in 2016, featuring real-life people who became heroes.