MYMonashAlumni: Frontliner Story 3

I found myself restless the moment the Movement Control Order (MCO) was announced. So, when Selangor State Legislative Assemblywoman, YB Lim Yi Wei, was looking for volunteers to aid her on food distribution rounds, I immediately volunteered to be part of the team.

One of my rounds took me to Kampung Tunku, which is known for being a wealthy aging neighbourhood filled with gated roads and huge bungalows. In the beginning, many netizens were questioning the need for this food distribution project, thinking that no one living in Kampung Tunku would need any help. This is a huge misconception! Flat Sri Aman, a low-cost apartment complex and Sungai Way, a 70-year-old Chinese new village is located within the Kampung Tunku constituency. It is only when you hit the ground you will see that urban poverty is very much a reality there. There are many elderly and foreign workers who have found themselves unemployed and stranded at Kampung Tunku.

Out of the 10 distribution rounds that I have been on, the one that struck me the most was during the first day of Ramadhan. We received word that a man and his wife were living in a makeshift shack. The man, “En. K”, who was previously working in security, lost his job during the first week of MCO.

Finding himself unemployed, with a sick wife and without savings, he found a family who was willing to rent a space in their yard for him. He set up a makeshift shack and has to pay a monthly rent of RM50 for the space. The team was able to provide him with cooking gas, food aid and are now in the process of finding him a proper place to stay. We hope that once the MCO is over, we can get En. K stable employment and medical treatment for his wife.

A big takeaway for me from this was that we should always have our eyes and hearts open for those needing our help.

Shafiq Kassim
School of Arts and Social Sciences alumnus