In a village called Kampung Kuala Besar located in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, a family of five has to face scorching weather, heavy rains and even the occasional visit from poisonous snakes.
That is the pain that Nasarudin Mat Ali, 39; his wife Nur Syazana Ali, 30; and their three children aged 13, 8 and 4, have to face every day, all in an effort to survive in a cow’s barn that they now call home.
According to Nasarudin, who works as a labourer, ever since their previous residence, which was his mother’s house, was destroyed in a fire back in 2012, the barn that belonged to his late father has been a “mahligai” (castle) for the family for 8 years now.
“The house had been rebuilt but the size is smaller compared to before. I didn’t want to burden my mom, so I decided to live in the renovated barn opposite my mom’s old house.
“My siblings helped me with adding floorboards, zinc roofs and building walls with windows from used wood. We just don’t have a toilet so we use the one at my mother’s place,” he said when meeting Sinar Harian at his home.
They live with three children, 13-year-old Muhamad Hakimi goes to Sekolah Pondok Gelang Mas, Pasir Mas, while their daughter, Najwa Balqis, 8, goes to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Che Latif and 4-year-old Nawfal Basri has yet to go to school.
As a labourer, Nasarudin said his daily income can be RM50 a day while other days remain inconsistent. During Ramadan, he sells sugar cane juice that he grows himself, while his wife stays at home with the children.
“We manage to get by, as long as the kids are well-fed even though it’s just plain rice and eggs. It’s financially difficult because I can only wait for customers to pay to install mosaic in their homes,” Nasarudin said.
The family’s situation has been increasingly tough with Nasarudin not earning any income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have to depend on their savings, the government’s Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) and emergency aid of RM1000 from Majlis Agama Islam Kelantan (MAIK).
As reported by Sinar Harian, if you feel inclined to help, you can donate to Nasarudin Mat Ali at BSN 1012141000070837 or call 017 935 6578.
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