State award sweeps 60-year old retiree off her feet

Chan Mun Thye (middle) with Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook (left) and Negeri Sembilan exco member Teo Kok Seong at the award ceremony.

KUALA PILAH: Never in her wildest dreams did road sweeper Chan Mun Thye think she would ever be appreciated, much less receive a state award.

Today, she proudly walked into the Istana Besar Seri Menanti here where she received the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) in conjunction with the 71st birthday celebrations of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir.

Chan, 60, had been assigned to the City Centre Road Sweeper Unit of SWM Environment Sdn Bhd (SWM) for 16 years, and it never crossed her mind that someone like her would be honoured in such a way.

Speaking to reporters, shed recalled that her supervisor had recently asked her for a photograph but did not tell her it was for a state award.

“I gave it, not suspecting anything because I thought it was for my retirement which fell on Jan 4.

“Not long after that, I received a letter saying I will be getting the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian. I was so touched, and at the same time, very happy,” she said after the investiture ceremony here today.

Chan said she was grateful to Tuanku Muhriz, SWM and the state government for giving her the award.

The mother of four said that although she retired early this month, her employment had been continued on a contract basis as she wanted to serve the company for as long as she could work.

“I will start working again after Chinese New Year. I like my work because it is not hard to ensure the cleanliness of a place.”

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Teo Kok Seong said the award was given by the state government as a mark of appreciation.

Two other SWM employees – machine operators Abd Kadir Abd Ghani and Shaik Dawood AASM Shaik Mohamed – will receive the same award at later investiture ceremonies.

“This clearly proves that whatever one’s job, if it is clear that they have contributed to the state, then they are eligible for the award,” Teo said.