SINGAPORE: Cleaner Kalam Mohd Abu was washing the sixth-floor corridor of Block 103 Commonwealth Crescent last Saturday (Apr 14) when an elderly resident asked him for help.
She was sick and she didn't have any food. Could he give her some food, she asked.
The woman looked pale and was clutching her stomach, he told Channel NewsAsia in an interview on Thursday. She showed him a pink vertical scar on her stomach and told him she was recovering from a recent surgery.
"She asked if I could buy her food. She was too sick to walk down to the nearby market and I had to help. It was the least I could do," said the Bangladeshi national, who has been working as a cleaner at Tanjong Pagar Town Council for 10 years.
Without hesitation, Mr Kalam rushed back to the storeroom where cleaners keep their belongings – which was 10 minutes' away - to grab his packed lunch of rice and curry that he had cooked for himself the previous night.
He knew he had to deliver the food quickly to the hungry woman. So, he asked a resident he knew well if he could borrow his e-scooter, and rushed back to Block 103.
He was on his way when three police officers from Queenstown neighbourhood police centre stopped him.
"We (cleaners) are not allowed to use those scooters for our work. It's for our safety as well as the residents. That could be why they stopped me," said Mr Kalam.
"But I told them why I was in a rush and they understood."
In a Facebook post on Saturday, the Queenstown neighbourhood police centre posted photos of Mr Kalam and some patrol officers.
"Found out that he (Mr Kalam) was delivering his personally cooked food to an elderly resident in Commonwealth Crescent who has difficulty moving due to an operation. We took a moment to compliment him for his selfless act," the post said.
"HAPPY SHE LOOKED HEALTHIER AFTER EATING"
When he gave the elderly woman his food, she was really grateful, Mr Kalam said.
"She thanked me many times, I told her it was fine," said the 31-year-old. "I'm happy she looked healthier after the meal."
Mr Kalam's good deed drew praise from MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC and chairman for Tanjong Pagar town council Melvin Yong, who presented a certificate of appreciation to him on Wednesday.
"Great job, Kalam! We are proud of you," Mr Yong wrote in his post.
Mr Kalam's supervisor, who did not want to be named, said Mr Kalam was one of the kindest people he has met.
"This is not the first time he has done this. He shares his food with elderly residents all the time," he said.
"Kalam has been working in this area for 10 years, and he has seen the residents grow older. He knows them and helps them as if they were his family," he added.