As 94 hotel service staff from 53 hotels were honoured for going the extra mile to provide excellent service, a new Gracious Guest category was introduced to thank 11 guests who have shown care and appreciation to service staff as well.
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Here is the speech by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth at the National Kindess Award - Service Gold 2013 presentation ceremony:
Dr William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement
Mr Allen Law, 2nd Vice President of the Singapore Hotel Association
Council Members of the SKM and the SHA Service Gold Winners
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am happy to be here this afternoon for the 19th Service Gold Awards. Let me start by thanking the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) and all participating hotels for this close collaboration and making these awards possible. I would also like to thank all the 94 award winners who are here with us today, and congratulate them for the service that they have shown which have made a difference in the lives of others. The collaboration between the SKM and SHA is a very good example of how the hospitality industry can play a part in helping to foster a kinder and more gracious society in Singapore.
There is ample business literature on how you can develop a good service culture in organisations - what it is about, how to develop it, and why it is good for business, especially the hospitality business. Not surprisingly, many businesses will put in resources and train their staff to render good service to their customers. But it takes more than just knowledge and etiquette gleaned from a training course to deliver good service - service culture must start from the organisation, and very importantly, service professionals must first be kind and gracious before their service can be truly genuine, sincere and memorable.
All 94 award recipients here today have demonstrated this type of excellent service - service that comes from the heart; and today, we are very happy to recognise and appreciate all of you for making a difference to those whom you have served. Your presence here is an affirmation of the improving service culture in Singapore, and a sign that we are truly becoming a more gracious society.
Many of your stories are truly inspiring. One of the recipients today is Madam Hong Foong Ming, who at 64 years of age is our oldest recipient. As a room attendant, her quiet and diligent service in looking after the needs of her guests at Mandarin Orchard Singapore has won her numerous commendations. She proves to us that age is not a limiting factor in the delivery of exceptional service.
We also have Mr. Rahmat Bin Abdul here with us. Mr Rahmat is a bell captain at the iconic Goodwood Park Hotel, but he himself may well be considered an icon! For the last 42 years, Mr Rahmat has faithfully and cheerfully greeted guests as they arrived, and he always does his utmost to assist in whatever way he can. His courteous and friendly disposition has won him numerous accolades and positive reviews. At 62, you could say that he's spent a lifetime perfecting the art of "warm welcomes" and "fond farewells".