Samaritans in Singapore: Foreign worker goes extra mile to return lost mobile phone

In the spirit of Christmas giving, here are some ordinary heroes who have made a difference to other strangers' lives. They are among 26 Samaritans whose heartwarming deeds were highlighted in a campaign collaboration - Good Man Good Deeds Good Rice - between Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao and Tong Seng Produce's rice brand SongHe.

Mr Karunanith Satish Kumar and Mr Gary Koh. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - He found a mobile phone in a toilet cubicle in Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and waited at the spot for 30 minutes, hoping someone would return to claim it.

Mr Karunanith Satish Kumar, 26, who cleans high-rise buildings, was worried the owner would be anxious.

When no one turned up, he kept it aside with the intention of handing it over to the MBS management after his shift.

Hours later, when he was done working for the day, he took out the phone and realised there were several missed calls.

Mr Satish called the number, which belonged to Mr Gary Koh, the father of the boy who had lost the mobile phone.

Mr Koh, 45, said he had taken his 10-year-old son to MBS for a musical earlier that day, but it was only much later that the boy realised he had lost his phone.

When his calls went unanswered, the counsellor thought that was it - until he received a call from Mr Satish, who arranged to meet him at the Helix Bridge.

Grateful to get the mobile phone back, Mr Koh prepared a token of appreciation, but Mr Satish declined to accept it.

Mr Koh told Lianhe Wanbao: "He did not expect any reward from me and even apologised for not contacting me earlier."

Mr Satish, who is from a remote town in Tamil Nadu, in India, said he was happy he could return the mobile phone to its rightful owner.

While he hopes to earn more money to provide a better life for his elderly parents and younger brother, who works as a farmer, he felt it was important to make a living through honest means.

"If I kept the money, then it would not be considered a good deed," he told the Chinese evening daily.

Mr Satish picked Metta Welfare Association, an organisation that caters to children with mild autism and low-income families, as his preferred charity.

Article translated by Elaine Lee.

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