ST Singaporean of the Year cited as role model

A file photo of Madam Noriza A. Mansor giving a bouquet to President Halimah Yacob at The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award ceremony in February this year. Madam Noriza, who was there as a guest, won the inaugural ST Singaporean of the Year
A file photo of Madam Noriza A. Mansor giving a bouquet to President Halimah Yacob at The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award ceremony in February this year. Madam Noriza, who was there as a guest, won the inaugural ST Singaporean of the Year 2015 award.ST FILE PHOTO

When she saw that an elderly man had soiled himself in a supermarket, sales assistant Noriza A. Mansor stepped forward to help.

Madam Noriza, then 49, cleaned the man up and helped him get home in a cab.

For her act of kindness and goodwill, she won the inaugural Straits Times Singaporean of the Year 2015 award. She received the award at a ceremony in 2016.

How Madam Noriza went out of her way to help a stranger is something etched deeply in President Halimah Yacob's memory.

She brought up Madam Noriza in her speech at yesterday's launch of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre's new vision, which is for Singapore to be a City of Good.

In her speech, Madam Halimah said: "Care is clearly a unifying value. One that is embraced by people of all races, religions, ages and countries of origin."

Speaking to an audience of more than 400 people, she then highlighted Madam Noriza as someone who had stepped forward to help regardless of other factors.

 

Madam Halimah recounted how, when Madam Noriza saw that the man had soiled his pants, she immediately cleaned him up and later accompanied him home.

Madam Halimah said: "That cuts (across) race, religion, faith... that story continues to be on my mind.

"I can never forget that because that just shows how compassionate people can be, (despite) not knowing who the person (they are helping) is."

She said Madam Noriza had known how uncomfortable and helpless the man felt in that situation. Madam Noriza had come to his aid "without thinking of any reward", added Madam Halimah.

"The Straits Times Singaporean of the Year (award) was never on her mind, of course, it came much later as a recognition for her effort," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline 'ST S'porean of the Year cited as role model'. Print Edition | Subscribe