33-year-old cendol seller, Muhammad Affiruddin Mat Ariff gifted a pair of shoes to an elderly street sweeper after noticing the condition of the “uncle’s” shoes as he was passing by the road on his birthday.
According to NST, Affiruddin travels to his cendol store via Jalan Puchong Perdana which is where he would spot the uncle.
“Once I spotted the uncle near a traffic light and saw how worn out his shoes were. I could actually see his toes!
“Before I could wind down my window to ask him about his shoes, the light turned green and I was forced to drive on.”
It was not until last Sunday that Affirudin finally got to properly talk to him, “I happened to be on the same road that weekend and the uncle was right in front of me. I immediately stopped my car and approached him.
“I asked if I could have a look at his shoes. His shoes had seen better days, despite the uncle’s valiant efforts to have them frequently repaired.
“There was no doubt that I had to get him a new pair of shoes, although I did not know his size. So I made an educated guess.”
Even without knowing his shoe size, Affirudin managed to get him the perfect pair that fit him.
“Thank God the new shoes fit. As he put on the shoes, I asked him a few questions, including about his working hours.
“The uncle told me that he was supposed to have gone back at that time, but he put off his trip home as he could see there was a lot of litter on the streets. His reply reflected his commitment to his job.”
Affirudin also advised people to increase their awareness of the realities that cleaners face everyday.
“My message is that all of us must keep our surroundings clean. Otherwise, cleaners like this uncle will have to work extra time (while wearing worn out shoes).”
Affiruddin, a former supervisor of a hotel cleaning crew in Melbourne, Australia, added “I’m glad to help Uncle on my birthday, despite our different race and faith. Perhaps this was God’s plan for me to meet Uncle and help him.”