Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ) employees Ananthan Kaliya Perumal and Kohila Maniam first met during the council’s excellent service awards in 2007.
Despite working in the same organisation, their paths had never crossed before then.
“We kept in touch and got married after getting to know each other better, ” said Ananthan.
Coincidentally, both were among 120 MBSJ workers who received their 2020 awards this year.
“All MBSJ workers look forward to this occasion to celebrate our peers’ achievements, ” said Ananthan, 35.
He works for the city council’s quick response team and describes his job as high risk and one where he often has to get his hands dirty.
“We are the first to be at the scene when there’s a complaint of broken branches, uprooted trees or any disaster such as floods.
“My best memory is when I was selected by the council to render assistance during the Penang floods in 2017.
“It was my first time serving a different locality and it was difficult seeing how the victims had to cope with losing their belongings, ” said Ananthan.
He encourages more Indians to join government service as it offers a good working environment and benefits.
Kohila, 39, is a cleaner who takes great pride in doing her job well.
“My boss always says that the toilets must be as clean as the ones at home, ” said the mother of two.
She has in the past found jewellery and perfume left behind in washrooms and never failed to return the items to their owners.
Another husband-and-wife duo, Che Daud Kasim, 51, and Salmah Hashim, 51, received excellent service awards for the second year in a row.
Che Daud said he would always complete any given task ahead of time instead of tackling it at the eleventh hour.
He has been in the Engineering Department for 27 years while his wife works in the Building Department.
“We should be able to take on any role and do it well.
“I will take any responsibility given to me as a challenge and if I face obstacles, I would refer to my superior, ” said Salmah, a mother of three who has been with MBSJ for 25 years.
Meanwhile, Mohd Kamar Abdullah, 60, received his retirement award at the ceremony in MBSJ’s Dewan Kenanga.
He was attached to the city council’s Community Development Department for about 20 years.
“My best memory is winning six times at the Sukan Anggota-Anggota Kerajaan Malaysia, ” he said.
Subang Jaya mayor Noraini Roslan said although some 90% of council staff were rated excellent by their superiors, only 8% are selected for the award each year.
“Usually the same people win but there are instances of late bloomers.
“Some will start to perform better as they become more mature, ” she said.