The Colleagues Who Go The Extra Mile

In a time of unprecedented change and challenges, public officers looked out for one another through work and personal trials. Here are some who have helped to make others’ lives a little brighter.

Public officers share their own personal challenges during Covid

Winning Entry

I lost a dear friend to cancer recently. The incident shook me. In her last days of fighting to live in the hospital, my work became punctuated with updates and sudden rushes to the hospital. During this time, a colleague I had never even met (due to COVID restrictions) somehow heard about what I was going through and shared with me her own experience of grieving the loss of a loved one a few years back.

Her experiences brought comfort to me and assured me that I was neither abnormal nor alone. She went the extra mile to curate a Spotify playlist of songs that had helped her get through a difficult time in the hopes that it would help me too.

Three weeks since my friend passed, my colleague still silently adds songs to the playlist (I see the updates), and I still listen to them in my free time. Grief is a non-linear path, but it also winds through gratitude.

This colleague wasn't the only one to show me the unprecedented generosity and kindness in which I found solace. My supervisors also looked out for me, granted me the flexibility to take urgent leave to help with funeral arrangements, and checked in on me occasionally. They didn't have to, but they did, and it made all the difference.

Charis Tan, PMO

Thank you for sharing your entry, Charis. You win Swee Lee gift cards worth $100 to share with your colleague.

Other Winning Entries

During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, MOM officers were deployed in Purpose Built Dormitories. My Team Lead then was Anne Go from Occupational Safety & Health Division Corporate Planning, and a motherly figure to us all.

As we were newly hired, she went the extra mile to share her knowledge and experience of what was happening on the ground and genuinely cared for us.

For me, she is more than just a Team Leader, she is my mentor in life. She gave me guidance on how to approach many things not just at work but also in life, such as how and where I need to improve.

When I made mistakes, she was patient and slowly explained them to me so I could take it as a learning lesson, rather than to completely discredit what I had done.

I am grateful for what she has done for me, and I sincerely want to thank her for that.

Kee Wei, MOM

One rest room in the office. Four bunk-style beds in the rest room. Close to a hundred officers were sharing the resources. Imagine how soiled the bedsheets can get in just a matter of days.

Fortunately, we are thankful to have an unsung hero who would diligently help change the bedsheets for the welfare of all officers. This hero never asks for anything in return. Week after week, all of us get to enjoy a clean bed to rest on when the workload gets a little too heavy in the office.

Javier Tan, SPF

I would like to thank my colleague Shiunn Huei Cheok from Sport Singapore for going the extra mile during the bereavement of my dad’s passing. I had given birth at the same time, and Cheok had come to visit me at my home. My mother was also around, and Cheok sat with us. Not only did he offer his condolences, but he also listened to my mum and gave her a shoulder to cry the whole time he was with us.

His short visit turned into a 3-hour stay as he tried to make my mum feel better and light-hearted by sharing stories. His jokes and friendly nature made my mum smile even though it was the first time they had met. It left a lasting impression as I saw my mum smile and laugh for the first time in a while. 

Cheok’s giving spirit helped my mum overcome her depressed state, and I am ever so grateful to my colleague and friend for that.

Sharmila Begum, Sport Singapore

At the start of the circuit breaker and work-from-home, Danny collected his teammates’ computer monitors and sent them to their homes as it would be easier for their type of work (and their eyes!) to use the larger monitors instead of the smaller laptop screens.

I'm not from his team, but this story stuck with me and I'm glad to know Danny.

Janet Lam, EMA

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My Principal, Mr Kevin Pang, loves connecting with others and genuinely cares for his staff. He places staff welfare as a top priority in managing the school. He will occasionally surprise us with little gestures such as treats (e.g., a bottle of Vitamin C drink) to spur us on.

During Spring Lantern Festival day, he made tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) with the executive and administrative staff as part of bonding, and served them to the school management team to enjoy together during their afternoon committee meeting.

I was most touched when I received a little note of encouragement and a box of blueberries specially from him, after he passed by my table and noticed that I was upset. I would definitely say that he has gone many extra miles to make many people’s days better.

Cerenna Ng, MOE

A short timeline of the covid situation in Singapore

As we continue to battle COVID-19, what is one thing you’ve done in this time, as a public officer, that you’re most proud of?

Send your entry to

The most creative entry will receive a prize worth $100. All other entries published will win vouchers worth $30 each. Entries may be edited. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number.

All entries should reach us by May 21, 2021.

    May 6, 2021
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