Former SMG chief telephonist passes away

PETALING JAYA: For many staff of Star Media Group (SMG) and perhaps even people calling the company, Tharmaselvi Selvaduray had a voice that was full of warmth and one that could soothe your day.

Better known as Selvi, the former chief telephonist of the company died on Wednesday (May 19) at Sungai Buloh Hospital from Covid-19.

Selvi, 56, leaves behind her husband and a 16-year-old son.

She was described as a friend, a sister and above all, an amazing human being.

“Selvi was so genial, she had the ability to turn a bad day into a pleasant one. All she had to do was ask you how you were. Her soothing voice could do so much with so little. She was also a great listener, ” said a former staff.

Born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, Selvi joined The Star in January 1994 as a telephone operator.

She was promoted to the position of chief telephone operator in January 2000.

She left the company in 2007.

SMG chief content officer Esther Ng said Selvi was a person who could make you smile every time she answered your call.

“She was always friendly and genuinely caring. May she rest in peace, ” she said.

Assistant chief telephonist Richard Felix Pereira said he would always remember Selvi for being kind, compassionate and taking on the responsibility of those under her guidance.

He recalled there was a time when he made a mistake, and both he and Selvi were reprimanded for it.

He apologised to Selvi, who as his superior, took the brunt of the scolding.

“I was perplexed when Selvi calmly replied: 'It's okay Richard. I know you have to make mistakes and learn to do better'.

"This indeed was an honour and privilege that I was accorded and what I have learned from my beloved sister and friend, ” he said.

Former business editor Yap Leng Kuen said Selvi had bought a bag in aid of the Penan weavers after seeing a post on their cause in a group chat.

“Selvi may not be with us anymore but her kindness will be an inspiration to many. May the light she leaves behind shine bright and her kind soul Rest In Peace, ” said Yap.

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