6 foreign workers commended for stopping sabotage at work site

(From left) Mr Hossen Mohammad Forhad, Mr Islam Zahirul, Mr Hosen Mohammad, Mr Yeo Kok Kien, the Singaporean safety officer at the work site, Mr Sushil Kumar, Mr Harpreet Singh and Mr Kaliyaperumal Asaithambi with their Public-Spiritedness Award.
(From left) Mr Hossen Mohammad Forhad, Mr Islam Zahirul, Mr Hosen Mohammad, Mr Yeo Kok Kien, the Singaporean safety officer at the work site, Mr Sushil Kumar, Mr Harpreet Singh and Mr Kaliyaperumal Asaithambi with their Public-Spiritedness Award.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - The fear of losing their jobs spread among foreign workers at a work site after an excavator was found burnt in August last year, followed by two other failed attempts a month later.

With no culprits found, they were worried that the management would think it was an insider job carried out by one of them.

So after their day-time construction work, the foreign workers took turns to keep overnight watch of the excavators at the work site along Media Link over a two-month period in the hope of catching the perpetrator.

On Nov 18, they succeeded when a man carrying a large haversack was spotted trespassing on the site and approaching the excavators. He ran when six foreign workers gave chase but was quickly caught by them as well as the police officers who had arrived on the scene.

For their efforts in the arrest of the alleged saboteur, the six workers - along with their Singaporean safety officer Yeo Kok Kien, who came up with the idea of the overnight guard duty - received the Public-Spiritedness Award on Monday (March 4) from the Singapore Police Force at the Clementi Police Division Headquarters.

One of them, Mr Hosen Mohammad from Bangladesh, 27, said: "We are all very proud to receive this award. Now we can sleep in peace as our names are clear from suspicion."

The other foreign workers were Mr Hossen Mohammad Forhad and Mr Islam Zahirul who are also from Bangladesh, as well as Mr Kaliyaperumal Asaithambi, Mr Harpreet Singh and Mr Sushil Kumar who hail from India.

Three other members of the public were also presented the award on Monday for their role in assisting the police in three other separate cases.

One of them was Egyptian national Abobakr Elhakem, 38, who was awarded for his role in preventing a violent robbery.

At around 9.30pm on Jan 27, Mr Elhakem was crossing Toh Tuck Road in Bukit Timah when he noticed a man allegedly being attacked by an unknown assailant.

The assailant was allegedly attempting to steal the victim's mobile phone.

Mr Elhakem tried to stop the attack but was assaulted by the assailant and had to defend himself.

He eventually restrained the man as the victim called the police, who arrived on the scene within five minutes.

When asked why he had intervened, Mr Elhakem said everyone should "do more than just be a bystander and take videos" in such situations.

"If I ever find myself in such situations, I would want someone helping me," he added.

All 10 award recipients were lauded for their efforts by Assistant Commissioner of Police Jarrod Pereira, commander of Clementi Police Division.

"These outstanding individuals did not turn a blind eye to wrongdoings occurring right before them, but instead stepped in to make a difference. They have demonstrated commendable acts of valour and public-spiritedness and we want to recognise them," he said.