The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2019

Quick-thinking duo who put themselves at risk to help others nominated for ST Singaporean of the Year

The first pair of shortlisted candidates are food delivery rider Muhammad Riau Alfian (left), who rescued an elderly man trapped in a truck in Jurong, and education consultant Chalmers Chin, who stopped an unconscious cabby's taxi with his own car al
The first pair of shortlisted candidates are food delivery rider Muhammad Riau Alfian (left), who rescued an elderly man trapped in a truck in Jurong, and education consultant Chalmers Chin, who stopped an unconscious cabby's taxi with his own car along the PIE.ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN, GAVIN FOO

Food delivery rider and education consultant placed themselves at risk while helping others

A food delivery rider and an education consultant - who both stepped up to help strangers despite the risk to themselves - are the first two nominees for The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2019 award.

Now in its fifth year and supported by the bank, UBS Singapore, the award seeks to recognise Singaporeans whose extraordinary acts of goodwill have improved their community and the lives of others.

The award also recognises Singaporeans who have put the country on the world map or persevered to overcome immense adversity.

The first pair of shortlisted candidates are food delivery rider Muhammad Riau Alfian, who rescued an elderly man trapped in a truck that had flipped on its side in Jurong, and education consultant Chalmers Chin, who stopped an unconscious cabby's taxi by cutting across and letting it hit his own car along the Pan-Island Expressway.

The Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said: "Our previous nominees for ST Singaporean of the Year have set a high bar. Their stories were truly an inspiration to all of us.

"The search for more of such exemplary Singaporeans has begun, and I think we are off to a very good start with these two nominees, who showed commendable courage, selflessness and quick-wittedness."

"We look forward to getting more nominations from the public as well," added Mr Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/ Tamil Media Group

Nominees must be Singapore citizens who made the news this year, and can be nominated for the award in their individual capacity or as a group until Dec 15. The remaining shortlisted candidates will be unveiled between now and December.

This will be followed by two weeks of public voting, and the outcome will be used as a reference by the judges when making their final decision.

President Halimah Yacob is the patron of The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award, and will present it at a ceremony next year.

Last year's recipient was Ms Siti Noor Mastura, 28, who co-founded non-profit organisation Interfaith Youth Circle.

Previous recipients were Dr Goh Wei Leong and HealthServe, which provides migrant workers with affordable healthcare; Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling and his parents Colin and May; and Madam Noriza A. Mansor, a sales assistant who won many hearts when she helped a senior who soiled himself in public.

  • To nominate someone or find out more about The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award, go to str.sg/soty19nominate

    Now in its fifth year and supported by the bank, UBS Singapore, the award seeks to recognise Singaporeans whose extraordinary acts of goodwill have improved their community and the lives of others. The award also recognises Singaporeans who have put the country on the world map or persevered to overcome immense adversity.

The Singaporean of the Year will receive a trophy and $20,000, presented by UBS, which has supported the award since its inauguration. Other individuals or groups chosen as finalists by the panel of judges will receive $5,000 each.

Other top brands have also lent their support, contributing additional prizes for all finalists and the top recipient. They are Singapore Airlines, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, and Osim.

A panel of judges comprising ST editors, UBS representatives and individuals who have made their mark in various fields will help select and recommend deserving candidates and, finally, pick the Singaporean of the Year.


Food delivery rider rescued elderly driver trapped in lorry

He had just completed a food delivery and was riding back to Jurong Point when he noticed a commotion around a tipped lorry at the junction of Jalan Boon Lay and Boon Lay Way.

As he approached on his e-scooter, he realised that the driver was trapped inside and people at the scene seemed unsure of what to do. Traffic that Aug 10 morning was flowing as usual.

Noticing some fuel that had spilled onto the road, Mr Muhammad Riau Alfian's first thought was to get the driver and everyone away from the area in case there was a fire or an explosion.

READ MORE HERE

Consultant used own car to stop out-of-control taxi

Mr Chalmers Chin said he is no hero, and was simply doing what was right.

But he is unquestionably one to a group of hapless taxi passengers whom he saved from a potentially serious accident on Oct 1 with his quick thinking and bravery.

As he was driving to work that morning on the Pan-Island Expressway amid heavy traffic, Mr Chin spotted a taxi ahead of him veering in and out of the lane.

READ MORE HERE


PRIZES IN STORE

UBS

Cash prize of $20,000 for the top recipient and $5,000 for each finalist. UBS is the presenting sponsor for The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award.

SIA

A pair of round-trip business class tickets for the top recipient and a pair of round-trip economy class tickets for each finalist to a destination of their choice.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

A five-night stay in any of Millennium Hotels and Resorts' global hotels for the top recipient, and a three-night stay for each finalist.

Osim

A uDiva Star Massage Sofa for the top recipient, and a uJolly Back Massager for each finalist.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2019, with the headline 'Quick-thinking duo nominated for ST S'porean of the Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe