They stepped forward to help

Ms Noriza A. Mansor with Mr Tan Soy Yong at his home. She still visits the elderly man on her days off to look after him. Readers were touched by the story of how Ms Noriza helped Mr Tan in a supermarket after he had soiled his pants while shopping w
Ms Noriza A. Mansor with Mr Tan Soy Yong at his home. She still visits the elderly man on her days off to look after him. Readers were touched by the story of how Ms Noriza helped Mr Tan in a supermarket after he had soiled his pants while shopping with his wheelchair-bound wife. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The Straits Times is introducing the ST Singaporean of the Year award to recognise newsmakers who go above and beyond in serving the community or beating the odds.

Examples include a couple who took in wayward children after their own son was killed, and bedsheet promoter Noriza A. Mansor, who helped an elderly stranger who was standing in a supermarket covered in his own faeces.

Mr Francis Ng, 54, and his wife, Madam Joyce Tan, 52, once blamed a group of troubled youths for leading their son Darren astray. Darren was hacked to death in a vicious gang attack when he was 19.

After their son's death, the couple let go of their bitterness and opened their home to around 30 troubled youths so they could hang out in a safe space.

A Singaporean who also touched readers' hearts is Ms Noriza, 49.

While others walked past Mr Tan Soy Yong who had soiled his pants while shopping with his wheelchair-bound wife, she stepped forward to help.

Besides buying him a new pair of shorts, Ms Noriza, armed with tissues and a pail of water, cleaned up the 76-year-old before taking him and his wife home in a cab.

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'They stepped forward to help'. Print Edition | Subscribe