SINGAPORE - When Ms Amalia Senin found out that she had left her wallet containing $5,600 in cash behind in a Grab car last month, she gave up all hope of getting it back.
But close to midnight on March 28, the 35-year-old received a call from a man who had taken the Grab after she alighted at her Jurong West home earlier at about 1pm .
The man told her that her wallet, which had the money to pay for her mother's pilgrimage to Mecca, was safe with him.
"I could not believe what I was hearing. I didn't think I would get the money back, because my wallet had such a thick stack of $50 notes," she told The Straits Times on Thursday (April 12).
Ms Amalia's husband, Mr Amin Othman, posted on Facebook on March 29, thanking the man for his honesty.
And on Wednesday night, the Singapore Army identified him in a Facebook post as Third Sergeant (NS) Liaw Yi Kang, a former Detachment Commander of 10th Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence Battalion.
In the post, the Singapore Army commended 3SG (NS) Liaw for his actions, saying that he embodied values of integrity and honesty.
Many netizens left positive comments as well, with one describing him as a "a soldier and a gentleman".
Ms Amalia, who co-owns a music venue business with her husband, told ST that she had boarded the Grab with her mother at Raffles Hospital for their Yung Kuang Road home that afternoon.
It was during the ride that her mother had handed her the cash that was meant for her pilgrimage in June.
However, as Ms Amalia was busy on the phone till she got home, she did not realise that she had left her wallet with the money in the vehicle till about 9pm, when she and her husband were getting dinner.
Meanwhile, 3SG (NS) Liaw had given the couple multiple missed calls to a mobile number he found on a receipt in the wallet.
And at around midnight, his efforts paid off after he texted them and followed up with another call bearing the good news, much to Ms Amalia's relief.
Ms Amalia said that her husband had offered 3SG (NS) Liaw $100 as a token of appreciation during their meeting the next day, but the latter declined.
Touched by the kindness of a stranger, the couple wanted to pay it forward regardless.
Recently, they donated about $1,000 to a mosque and various charities.
Going forward, Ms Amalia said she will now make a greater effort to locate the owners of items that are left behind in her music studio which she rents to musicians for gigs.
She added: "I realised that it really makes a difference to the person. It may not be cash - it could be something valuable to him or her, but getting it back will bring the person such a great sense of relief."