A soldier's heartwarming act of kindness

Master Sergeant had stopped to help elderly man who suffered head injury in accident

MSG Harinderjit Singh continues to visit Ms Darasiah Md Ali's father in hospital after the accident. He says he considers them his friends.
MSG Harinderjit Singh continues to visit Ms Darasiah Md Ali's father in hospital after the accident. He says he considers them his friends. PHOTO: MINDEF

Master Sergeant (MSG) Harinderjit Singh was driving his daughter to school on the morning of July 9, when he had to pull over after noticing an elderly man lying motionless on the road.

There was a pool of blood around the man's head. A bicycle lay metres away from him.

As his six-year-old daughter watched from inside the car, MSG Singh rushed to the man and administered first aid - an action that may have saved his life.

"My first thought was to immediately render assistance to the individual who was lying motionless on the road," MSG Singh, 39, told The Straits Times in an e-mail interview yesterday.

Last month, ST reported that the police were alerted to the accident at the junction of Still Road and Changi Road involving a bicycle and motorcycle at 6.17am.

Mr Md Ali Yakeen Shah, the 81-year-old cyclist, was unconscious when taken to Changi General Hospital, but is now recovering in hospital. He was hospitalised in the intensive care unit for about two weeks after undergoing emergency surgery due to internal bleeding from his head injury.

An Aug 14 article posted on a Singapore Army website said that MSG Singh also managed the flow of traffic at the junction and enlisted the help of three onlookers to call for an ambulance and the police.

He attributed his ability to handle the situation calmly to his military training.

"Our Army training requires us to deal with various forms of operations. It prepares us to cope well in all kinds of situations," he said.

After dropping off his daughter at school, MSG Singh did not head home but went to the hospital to check on Mr Ali.

"It turned out that the hospital was unable to identify him and I had to act as his point-of-contact until his family... reached the hospital about an hour later," he said.

He later met Mr Ali's daughter, Ms Darasiah Md Ali, who had rushed to the hospital, and helped her liaise with the police.

MSG Singh continued to visit Mr Ali in hospital after the accident. "Mr Ali and his family are pretty much my friends now," he said.

In the article on the Army website, Ms Darasiah said that her family was extremely grateful to MSG Singh. "A thousand thanks will never be enough to reciprocate the help he extended to my dad," she said.

MSG Singh said that first aid is an important skill that everyone should learn. "You will never know when you will need it to help preserve a life."

When contacted last night, the police said that investigation into the traffic accident is still ongoing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2018, with the headline A soldier's heartwarming act of kindness. Subscribe