When Mr Abdul Aziz Md Sani, 45, first started working as a warehouse assistant late last year at marine equipment firm 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 the younger man had spent 12 years behind bars for drug-related offences. To his surprise, Mr Chandramohan was nothing like that.
Not only did Mr Chandramohan guide Mr Aziz patiently in his work, he also gave Mr Aziz advice, and even helped him get promoted to assistant store supervisor.
On Monday, Mr Chandramohan received the Model Supervisor Award from the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) at an appreciation awards ceremony.
Mr Aziz said that although he had set his mind to turning 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, sharing life lessons with him.
Mr Aziz nominated his supervisor for the award.
"He taught me many things, not only in our workplace but outside as well - we have to change ourselves (to) make a good future... this is why I like him," Mr Aziz said.
Mr Chandramohan was among 88 individuals and organisations that received awards at the Score ceremony. The awards recognise those that 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. It is among more than 5,500 employers registered with Score that 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 with the company for close to a year.
He said that while he initially felt pressured because he did not know how to adapt to a new environment, 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," said Mr Khairool, 32. "I don't want to put their efforts to waste."