50-year-old wheelchair-bound Mohd Shakier Ismail decided to hang up a makeshift white flag at his window to plead for help after realising he had no other choice.
Speaking to FMT, Shakier said, “I don’t care if people insult me for asking for help. This is my last resort, I don’t know what else to do.”
Shakier was working as a taxi driver until a hit-and-run accident that happened five years ago changed his life completely, leaving him with a back injury which made it difficult for him to walk.
The former taxi driver had to give up his job as he had been bedridden ever since the accident, this makes him unable to feed his two daughters aged 15 and 19.
Before the pandemic, Shakier would ignore the pain aching on his spine and walk using his crutches door to door at a PPR selling snacks where he could sometimes earn up to RM60 a day.
“I tried selling snacks at nearby residential areas but the police would stop and ask me to turn back,” he said.
Since he is running low on money to buy food, he makes sure he eats only once a day so his daughters will not go hungry.
“A scoop of rice with soy sauce and fried egg is enough for me,” he said. “If I am alone, I don’t mind going hungry. But I have two daughters who rely on me, I am their father and I have a responsibility to support them.
“I receive other assistance as well, but it is not enough. In fact, as you’re interviewing me right now, I only have RM32 in my wallet,” he said, with tears in his eyes.
After an article about his story was published in January by FMT, a kind person offered to pay rent for his daughters who have been living separately from him for two years now.
Subsidised by Baitulmal, Shakier now lives alone in a room that costs RM300 monthly while he awaits for approval on his application for a low-cost house from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“It would be easier for me to take care of my daughters if we live together,” he said,
He also hopes that he can get long-term assistance to help him become more independent due to his condition.
For those who wish to help Shakier, you can send a WhatsApp message on FMT’s Helpline at 019 3899 839.