SINGAPORE - When Mr Abdul Aziz Md Sani, 45, first started working as a warehouse assistant late last year at marine equipment company KM Kinley Marketing, he heard that the supervisor was a fierce and arrogant man.
Mr Aziz was worried about how Mr N. Chandramohan, 53, would treat him, especially since he had spent 12 years behind bars for drug-related offences. To his surprise, Mr Chandramohan was nothing like what he had heard.
Not only did Mr Chandramohan guide him patiently in his work, but he also gave Mr Aziz advice and even helped him get promoted to assistant store supervisor.
On Monday (Aug 13), Mr Chandramohan received the Model Supervisor Award from the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) at an appreciation awards ceremony at the Concorde Hotel ballroom.
Mr Aziz said that although he had set his mind to turn his life around for his 18-year-old daughter and elderly mother, he found it difficult to reintegrate into society. But Mr Chandramohan encouraged and motivated him, and shared life lessons with him.
Mr Aziz nominated his supervisor for the award.
"He taught me many things, not only in our workplace but outside our workplace - we have to change ourselves (to) make a good future... this is why I like him," Mr Aziz said.
Mr Chandramohan was one of 88 individuals and organisations receiving awards at the Score ceremony. The awards are to recognise those who have supported offenders and former offenders in their workplaces.
Mr Chandramohan said of Mr Aziz: "My parents taught me... to never ever look down on people. I know that he needed help, I know that he was a good man, so why not help him?"
Other recipients included ABR Holdings, which manages Swensen's. The company is among more than 5,500 employers registered with Score who offer jobs and work experiences to former offenders and inmates.
Another beneficiary is Mr Mohammad Khairool Ramlee, a former convict who is now a supervisor at Swensen's. He has been working with the company for close to a year.
While he initially felt pressured, as he did not know how to adapt to a new environment, Mr Khairool, 32, said his colleagues and bosses were very helpful and did not look down on him.
"They are willing to teach me, so I'm willing to learn and put in effort," he said. "I don't want to put their efforts to waste."