Sharing priceless Raya joy with the poor

HAVING rice and eggs for iftar is good enough for Nurul Hisham Abu Seman and his family.

Many may wish a better spread of dishes but for Nurul Hisham, some days that is all they can afford. 

So when the family was given a chance to break fast with a full menu consisting of ayam masak merah, nasi tomato, sotong masak kicap, telur masak sambal, vegetables, satay, dates and kuih, he was left speechless. 

Sunway Group, together with Lembaga Zakat Selangor and SAY Community, visited the family at their home in Kampung Baru Lanjut, Selangor, bringing food prepared by Sunway Hotel Resort & Spa as well as heavy bags of groceries. 

Aside from the volunteers, Sunway Group deputy chairman Tan Sri Razman Hashim’s wife, Puan Sri Latiffah Kamaruddin and her family, also had dinner together with Nurul Hisham and his family. 

“I didn’t expect to get contributions, so we are very grateful. I’m really touched that the volunteers broke fast together with my family,” Nurul Hisham said. 

The joy and appreciation were clearly reflected on his face when he hugged the volunteers in a long embrace as they bid farewell.  

The 37-year-old father of five is an odd-job worker who earns an unstable income of about RM800 a month. 

Previously, he worked as a lorry driver until he lost his job last August. He hopes to be able to go back to being a lorry driver, or a driving instructor. 

His wife, Farahzihan Mat Sulaiman, 31, earns a similar amount as a domestic helper and babysitter. 

Their combined household income is not enough to give their five children, aged one to nine, the life they deserve. 

They are currently living at Nurul Hisham’s family home, which is owned by his uncle, and pay a monthly rental of RM200. 

The couple’s oldest child, who is nine years old, was diagnosed with thyroid disorder at the age of five,  and they sought treatment at a hospital only a year later. 

That was the first and last time they sought treatment. Until today, they still owe the hospital money. The medication alone had cost RM300 and long-term treatment was required.

This left them no choice but to resort to traditional medicine.  

Sunway Group Brand Marketing and Communications assistant general manager Bernard Paul (left) together with the other volunteers at one of the family's homes in Kuala Langat to buka puasa and pass them groceries for Hari Raya.
Sunway Group Brand Marketing and Communications assistant general manager Bernard Paul (left) together with the other volunteers at one of the family's homes in Kuala Langat to buka puasa and pass them groceries for Hari Raya.

“In the long run, I want to find a permanent job so that my wife does not have to work anymore and can look after our children. 

“My hope is that they will receive proper education and grow up to be successful so they won’t have to walk down the same path as I have,” he said. 

The groceries were timely as now, Nurul Hisham and his family can celebrate Hari Raya with peace of mind. 

His family was among 40 underprivileged families in seven villages across Kuala Langat and Sepang who spent iftar together with some 80 volunteers from the group and representatives from Lembaga Zakat Selangor and SAY Community.  

Each family also received groceries worth RM400 donated by Sunway employees as well as RM200 duit raya. 

Latiffah, who spent the evening with Nurul Hisham’s family, said she was glad to be able to join the volunteers in this programme. 

“We are grateful and happy that everyone welcomed us with open hearts and cheerful smiles into their homes.  

“To be able to share this priceless joy with the community reminds us what Sunway is about, that we are here to serve Malaysians and do our best not to leave anyone behind on our nation’s road to progress together,” she said.    

The home visits to the asnaf (very poor) families were the culmination of the Group’s #sunwayforgood Raya Cheer 2018 project, aimed at reaching 4,500 underserved individuals in B40 groups in 13 locations across Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang.

This was also by far the largest Ramadan community outreach that the group has undertaken, which kickstarted with the distribution of 4,000 bubur lambuk containers, followed by iftar hosting and a shopping session for more than 270 children from eight orphanages. 

The children also met Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin Abdul Rahman who was the guest-of-honour at the event.

Sunway Group has celebrated festive seasons – Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali – with underprivileged communities for more than 17 years. 

To date, its festive cheer programmes have touched more than 100,000 lives.

Metro , Central Region