13 who kept lamp post from falling receive award from police

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan Siew Hin with four of the 13 individuals who received the Public Spiritedness Award yesterday. The 13 had taken turns to hold up a lamp post to prevent it from collapsing on Dec 12 last year.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan Siew Hin with four of the 13 individuals who received the Public Spiritedness Award yesterday. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan Siew Hin with four of the 13 individuals who received the Public Spiritedness Award yesterday. The 13 had taken turns to hold up a lamp post to prevent it from collapsing on Dec 12 last year.
The 13 had taken turns to hold up a lamp post to prevent it from collapsing on Dec 12 last year. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Mr Noralimin and Madam Noor Adhhawati's plans to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary and the birthdays of two close friends were memorable - for the wrong reasons.

The four ended up spending 90 minutes holding up a lamp post to prevent it from collapsing at an open carpark in Outram Road on Dec 12 last year.

They were among 13 individuals who received the Public Spiritedness Award yesterday.

The four friends on their way to dinner had parked at the open carpark at about 8.45pm.

They had stopped to take a photo before heading to the restaurant at a well-lit spot by a lamp post when Mr Noralimin noticed that the lamp post was unstable. The four of them quickly held on to the lamp post after it began tilting.

"We were scared that we were not strong enough to hold the lamp post until someone could help," said Mr Noralimin, 38, a maintenance specialist in the oil and gas industry.

About 10 minutes later, more people arrived at the carpark and went to help after noticing the four friends holding the lamp post up. Madam Adhhawati, 36, was then able to call the police.

A total of 13 people, along with the police officers who responded, took turns to hold up the lamp post. Eight to 10 people helped steady the lamp post at any point of time, until maintenance workers arrived with a cherry picker truck.

The maintenance workers used rope to secure the lamp post - which Mr Noralimin estimated to be 10m to 15m tall - to the cherry picker's boom, or extendable arm.

The 13 and the police officers were finally relieved of their undertaking at around 10.15pm. The lamp post was later replaced.

Mr Noralimin said: "We were constantly encouraging each other while holding the lamp post. It motivated us to keep going." He added that it was heartening to see strangers stepping up to help.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan Siew Hin, commander of Central Police Division, presented the Public Spiritedness Award to the 13 individuals yesterday for their actions, which prevented any injury to people or damage to property.

"The police would like to commend all recipients for their public-spirited acts that will inspire others to step forward to keep our neighbourhood safe," he said.

Mr Noralimin said he was thankful no one was hurt that night, and hopes his award inspires others to be kind and offer their help when needed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline '13 who kept lamp post from falling receive award from police'. Subscribe