Earlier this month, FMT reported on a lone mak cik who would be seen picking up trash at odd hours in the day in order to recycle them and earn money. Known only as Zaidah, she would do this to make end meets after being retrenched years ago from her cleaning job.
While having four children who contribute to household expenses does keep her afloat, she does not want to rely on them forever. The 64-year-old would leave her house at the break of dawn, ride her motorcycle and look for rubbish. She would do this for hours, sometimes under the scorching hot sun.
Despite her arduous efforts, she only manages to accumulate RM5-RM20 a day and she spends RM2 on the petrol for her motorcycle. Sometimes she even faces challenges throughout the day such as being chased by dogs or suffering falls off her bike. In an interview with FMT, she said,
“Getting chased by dogs is normal, I have fallen down many times. Once, I even fell into a drain.”
She expressed that she dreams of retiring her trash-collecting errands and fulfilling a more peaceful and relaxed job, such as selling ice-cream in-front of her house.
Thankfully, because Malaysia is a country just as rich with kindness as it is with cultures, the Zaidah’s dreams have come true.
Not long after the first story was published by FMT, a rider dropped by her house to deliver goods such as a tent, crackers, equipment to make ice cream, chairs, a table and some cash. When she asked who was behind the delivery, the rider did not want to disclose. He was simply told to pick the goods up and deliver it to her.
Today, Zaidah sells sells crackers as well as her homemade Milo, grape, and assam boi-flavoured Malaysian ice creams. Smiling contently, when asked about the good samaritan who sent over the items that kickstarted her business, she said,
“I don’t know who helped me, I don’t know who they are, I don’t even know what they look like. But I pray that this person will have good fortune, a long life and good health.”
It warms our hearts to know that Malaysians are constantly proving that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the setbacks, we’re stronger when we stay united and take care of each other.
This story also shows the power of the written word and how important it is to share stories that could change someone’s life. Let’s hope we continue circulating news like these.
We, at JUICE, will be participating as well.