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Manila award for driver

Ahmad waiting for Ambassador Malaya at the Philippine Embassy.

Publication Date : 03-08-2012

 

For over four decades, Ahmad Buyong followed orders faithfully, making sure his distinguished bosses went everywhere safely and on time.

The 65-year-old holds a special place at the Philippine Embassy as he is the longest serving employee there, having been employed as a chauffeur in 1968.

“I have served many great men and thanks to my job, also got to meet many fine people over the years,” said Ahmad, who has served 10 ambassadors.

The longest serving chauffeur in the local diplomatic circuit's passion for the job has not diminished, saying he still looked forward to reporting for work daily.

“It is always a joy when I am given an assignment,” said Ahmad, adding that the official black Mercedes Benz vehicle was also a joy to drive.

The Kuala Lumpur-born father of six has picked up more than just driving skills.

He also speaks Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines.

Ahmad is building a special relationship with his present boss, Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya, who was posted in Kuala Lumpur last year.

And the feeling is mutual, judging by what the envoy has to say about his chauffeur: “Ahmad has been a part of the changing landscape of Philippine-Malaysia relations as a silent witness. His historical knowledge, loyalty and heart to serve is an inspiration to all of us at the embassy.”

For all his contributions, Ahmad was nominated by Malaya earlier this year for the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs' Outstanding Employee Award for his many years of service.

It was a proud moment for Ahmad when he received the award from Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario in Manila on July 26.

Malaya made the arrangement for Ahmad to fly to the Philippine capital after he found out that the latter had never visited the country.

“I was truly touched by the gesture of appreciation as I feel I did not deserve such an honour,” said Ahmad, who was also taken on a tour of historical sites around Manila such as the Coconut Palace in Pasay and the Rizal Monument.

“They also honoured me with a dinner where I got to meet past embassy colleagues,” said Ahmad.

 

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