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More Than a Supervisor; a Friend
Changing lives for the better – Mr N Chandramohan received the Model Supervisor Award from SCORE for his willingness to support his colleague Mr Abdul Aziz, an ex-offender.

Mr N Chandramohan has never forgotten his parent’s teachings – to always extend a helping hand to those in need. “When I see a good person, why shouldn’t I help him? There’s no wrong in helping people,” said Mr Chandra, 53, a store supervisor at KM Kinley Marketing Pte Ltd, a manufacturer of marine and offshore equipment.  

Mr Chandra was introduced to Mr Abdul Aziz Bin Md Sani in August 2017, when the latter joined KM Kinley after completing a 12-year prison sentence for drug-related offences. “I regarded him just as another colleague. He’s a good man, and he listens to us,” said Mr Chandra. “Every time I encouraged him, he improved and worked harder, and that’s how we got here.”

On 13 August 2018, Mr Chandra received the Model Supervisor Award at the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) Appreciation Awards 2018. Mr Chandra was nominated by Mr Aziz for his patience, support and willingness to teach others. 
16 Aug 2018 SCORE Mr Chandra and Mr Aziz 1
Inspired to change: Mr Chandra (left) with Mr Aziz, who pledged to become a better man after his release, so he could look after his mother and daughter. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

When Mr Aziz first joined the company, he was determined to put his best foot forward and prove his worth. “I started work by thinking positively and focusing on doing well; that was all that mattered,” recalled the 45-year-old. 

Even if Mr Aziz didn’t understand something the first time, or the second, Mr Chandra would continue to guide him until he got it right. 

“He encouraged me and advised me to be a better person,” said Mr Aziz, who was recently promoted to Assistant Store Supervisor. “He also often reminds me to be punctual and stay away from alcohol. That’s why I respect him.” 
16 Aug 2018 SCORE Mr Chandra and Mr Aziz 2
Mr Chandra’s hopes for Mr Aziz to be successful in life. “I want him to be able to upgrade himself, improve his life, and become even better than me." PHOTO: Desmond Ang

Besides teaching ex-offenders about their work, supervisors play a key role in their reintegration by keeping their histories confidential. This helps colleagues view ex-offenders without prejudice. An ex-offender may choose to reveal his or her background at a later stage, after having developed a better rapport with his or her colleagues. 

For Mr Aziz, this moment came early, without fanfare. “I shared my background within a week. My bosses supported me and my colleagues all know that I’m an ex-offender,” he recalled. “Not only did they not say anything, they even encouraged me during my time there.”

According to Mr Chandra, a little kindness and inspiration can inject positivity into the lives of ex-offenders. “The patience to teach and the willingness to give ex-offenders a second chance isn’t something that should only be observed by company supervisors, but by everyone,” he said. 

“Aziz has really put in good effort and we should help him rather than look down on him,” said Mr Chandra. “Give ex-offenders a second chance. They are just like any one of us.”

SCORE Appreciation Awards 2018

The SCORE Appreciation Awards recognise the invaluable contributions of partners who support SCORE by helping ex-offenders enhance their employability. This year, 88 organisations and individuals were recognised for their efforts to rebuild the lives of ex-offenders through employment opportunities and a supportive work environment. About 350 invited guests, including employers, community partners and government agencies attended the event. 

Read the speech by Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung at the SCORE Appreciation Awards Ceremony. 
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 16 August 2018
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