When we think superhero, skin-hugging suits, extraterrestrial powers and apocalyptic battles for humanity come to mind. We cheer these heroes on their missions to save the world, but it is our everyday heroes, who operate silently and dutifully, that really deserve our praise.
On July 4, three SMRT bus captains became heroes in their own right.
Netizen Chantel shared her story with Stomp, praising SMRT bus captains Mr Tan Keng Lai, Ms Jessica Tee, and an unidentified colleague for being proactive and coming to the aid of her sick father, after he was hit with stomach pain shortly after boarding a bus at Bukit Panjang.
According to Chantel, while they were on the way to Woodlands Bus Interchange, the unidentified bus captain made sure to take good care of her father, Mr Tan Hua Hin.
After alighting at Woodlands Bus Interchange, Chantel said that another bus captain, Mr Tan Keng Lai, came forward to provide further assistance by buying food and Panadol for her father, paying for these out of his own pocket.
When the third bus captain, Ms Jessica Tee, arrived on the scene, she thoughtfully asked her two colleagues to escort Mr Tan Hua Hin to his next destination safely.
Setting aside their own time and money for this act of kindness, these bus captains have indeed gone above and beyond their duty. They also refused to be compensated for the purchased food and medicine.
Chantel later revealed that her father was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital after the incident, where he discovered that his tumour had ruptured, causing the stomach pain.
Expressing her heartfelt gratitude, Chantel said: “Our family really appreciates all of their help and concern, especially Mr Tan Keng Lai. We don’t even know how to thank him for buying food and Panadol medication out of his own expense. We really appreciate his kindness and generosity.”
Indeed, a simple act of kindness can turn into a life-saving labour of heroism. For Mr Tan Keng Lai, Ms Jessica Tee and their unnamed colleague, their professionalism extended beyond their duty to their ethical responsibility as citizens.
One thing is clear: We may not be as apathetic as we think we are. Singapore is indeed developing a culture of social duty and it begins with the acts of heroes such as the three bus captains.
While Captain America and Black Widow are great, we need not look so far to find the day-to-day heroes that guard our invisible frontiers. And more importantly, we realise from this episode that we ourselves are capable of being that everyday hero.
The Pride has reached out to SMRT for comment.