Hotel worker returns $18,835 diamond ring

MALACCA - Diamonds are forever but honesty is priceless as shown by a hotel staff member who returned a US$15,000 (S$18,835) diamond ring left behind by a Singaporean businesswoman.

The female guest, who requested anonymity, praised the 24-year-old employee of Hatten Hotel in her posting on the travel website TripAdvisor.

"Our special thanks go to all the staff especially Mr Khua Kung Thang who did our housekeeping and found the diamond ring that we lost. Scepticism and pessimism put to rest here. This property will have its special place in our hearts and memories," said the guest in her review of the hotel several days ago.

When contacted, Hatten Hotel general manager Chuck Kassim said the woman was not even aware that she had dropped her ring in the room when she checked out on Dec 8.

"She only knew about the loss when we called her to inform her about it," said Chuck, adding that the woman was driving back to Singapore then.

She had stayed at the hotel for three days on a business trip.

Khua, a Myanmarese who is attached to the housekeeping team, found the diamond ring which had fallen into the groove of a chair inside the hotel room.

He then placed it on the writing table before informing his superior.

Chuck said the Singaporean businesswoman was elated about the news and drove back to the hotel, requesting to meet Khua in the same room where she had stayed.

"She wanted to thank him personally," he said.

It is learnt that she gave him a reward.

Chuck said the hotel would recognise Khua at their quarterly staff gathering where he would be given a certificate of recognition and a monetary reward.

"He is a shining example for others," he added.

In May, Holiday Inn Melaka earned praises of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and global tourism associations when its housekeeping staff member Shafinah Ahmad, 24, returned RM11,000 (S$4,300) to a businessman from Kelantan.

Shafinah was cleaning a room when she saw a briefcase with several banknotes sticking out from its side.

Though the bag was shut, she had a hunch it contained cash.

She took the bag to the management office, which promptly informed the businessman who was on his way back to Kota Baru.