What does it mean to be a good citizen?
Pay your taxes? Pick up litter? Serve the nation?
For two individuals serving in the Singapore army, it was seen in the way they sprang into action and rushed to the aid of others.
On July 6, lance corporal Kyler Sng was on his way home along River Valley Road when he spotted a familiar face at the pedestrian crossing.
Speaking to STOMP, Sng explained that it was an elderly woman who often took the same route as he did in the early evenings.
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That particular evening, however, he observed her crossing the road, and realised that she had only made it a quarter of the way to safety when the pedestrian timer started its 10-second countdown.
Realising that she wouldn’t make it across in time, Sng quickly stepped back onto the road to help marshall traffic and keep her safe.
In a Facebook post by the Singapore Army, Sng recalled worrying that drivers would not notice her and an accident could have occured. And so, he stepped forward to help, and was quoted in the same post explaining: “My personal ethics is to always do the right thing regardless of the circumstance.”
In an unrelated incident that took place on the same day, medical vocational instructor Lam Guo Wei and his wife were on a Singapore Airlines flight to Japan when they noticed that a man had collapsed outside the toilet just behind their seats.
Lam and his wife Audrey Chia, who is a nurse by profession, quickly leapt into action to assess the man’s vitals and shift him to a more spacious area for medical attention.
With the help of a flight attendant who could speak Japanese, they checked the passenger’s medical history after he had regained consciousness, and sought to stabilise his condition.
Shortly after, a Japanese doctor came to help, and Lam was able to update him about the steps they had taken, and this led to the doctor’s deduction that an emergency landing was not required.
In a Facebook post by the Singapore Army, Lam said: “Since my wife and I are medically trained and qualified to aid someone, we did not hesitate to step forward.”
In both incidents, bystanders shared photos online, lauding the trio for their quick thinking and readiness to serve.
Netizens were quick to express their appreciation, with many also saying that they were proud of the way our men in green had conducted themselves in both situations.
Unfortunately, some flak was directed at Sng, as a few questioned why he was not seen helping the elderly lady carry her bags as she crossed the road.
In response, Sng has told STOMP that he respected others’ opinions and would take the negative comments in his stride.
Perhaps, another netizen summed it up best on the need for more of us to learn to focus on the good in each situation, saying: “With social media, it brings about visibility and hopefully encourages more to step forward to help people in need”.