SMRT station manager who helped lost boy get home safely lauded at Tourism Awards
SMRT station manager Faiz Abdullah Altway was preparing to close Canberra MRT station at around 12.45am on Dec 6, 2022, when he found a boy, aged eight or nine, crying near a staircase.
The child had missed his stop after falling asleep on the train, and had neither a phone nor money. His parents, whose contact numbers were the only ones he could remember, were overseas at the time.
Mr Faiz called for a taxi to take the boy home and even accompanied him on the journey. When they arrived at the boy’s home in Yio Chu Kang at around 1.30am, his grandmother, who had been waiting anxiously by the door, exclaimed in relief and thanked Mr Faiz repeatedly.
“As a father myself, I wanted to make sure the boy got home safely and I did what I could to help,” he told The Straits Times on Monday.
Mr Faiz was one of 25 winners at the Singapore Tourism Awards 2023, which recognises the efforts of individuals and organisations in delivering outstanding experiences and showing enterprise excellence.
Mr Faiz, who won the Customer Service Excellence for Transport award, said: “I’m very happy to receive this award on behalf of all my colleagues. Much of what we do is often not in the limelight, so it feels nice to be recognised.”
This year’s awards had 90 finalists in three broad categories – customer service excellence, experience excellence and enterprise excellence.
Former Marina Bay Sands (MBS) president and chief executive George Tanasijevich received the highest accolade – Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.
He oversaw the development of MBS and supported Singapore’s efforts in curbing the spread of Covid-19 by having the integrated resort serve as a stay-home notice designated facility.
“Mr Tanasijevich also led discussions with the Singapore Government on MBS’ $4.5 billion expansion plans, which include an all-suite hotel tower and live entertainment arena,” his award citation said.
The Singapore Tourism Board introduced a new award this year – Outstanding Wellness Experience award, which went to Xiu Nature Connections, a business tapping Singapore’s green spaces to provide forest bathing experiences. Forest bathing is a relaxation method practised in the midst of greenery.
Other noteworthy recipients include Mandai Wildlife Group, which was recognised for its conservation and sustainability efforts. It achieved an 80 per cent reduction in single-use plastics across its parks and converted its in-park trams and buggies to run on electricity.
Ion Orchard was recognised for providing an outstanding shopping mall experience with its seasonal physical displays, live performances and workshops to engage customers.