Postmen for all seasons

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 02 Dec 2019

Baharuddin and Martin landed their childhood dream job. Both have served Pos Malaysia for 27 and 38 years, respectively. — Photos: YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

MARTIN Rayappan has been a postman for almost four decades.

The 57-year-old takes pleasure in telling how he started as a security guard at Pos Malaysia Bhd’s Chan Sow Lin branch in Kuala Lumpur before securing the position of postman soon after in 1981.

“Until the 1990s, we delivered letters and parcels on bicycle. We would deliver the items, rain or shine.

“The early 1990s was the peak in the popularity of sending festive greeting cards. We postmen worked long hours trying to deliver them on time.

“Each household would receive about 30 greeting cards during

festive seasons. I used to deliver about 4,000 cards daily back then.”

He reminisced, “The 1980s was also a good time and I delivered about 20,000 greeting cards in just one business area.”

Martin, who was born in Kuala Lumpur, has delivered items to various parts of the city, including Jalan Hang Tuah, Jalan Peel, Jalan Cochrane and squatter settlements.

These days, the friendly father of three’s area of delivery includes Petaling Street, where recipients know him by name.

His day begins with sorting out letters for his area at the headquarters before heading out on his motorcycle to deliver them.

He recalls some memorable moments such as gaining the trust of some recipients who asked him to read the contents of their letters.

“I used to deliver letters to squatters and they would ask me to read them and explain what needed to be done.

“I have also delivered letters to prisoners. Such letters need to be removed from the envelopes and given to the person in charge. Of course, I have never read any of them because they are private.”

Another long-serving Pos Malaysia employee is Baharuddin Zainal Abidin who started his career as a postman in 1992.

Years ago, Baharuddin broke the fall of a four-year-old from a four-storey flat in Shah Alam.

“I just happened to be there at the right time, and I did what came naturally.”

Baharuddin was praised for his heroic act. He was also offered a promotion as a clerk but turned it down.

“It was my childhood dream to become a postman. Growing up in Kuala Kangsar, I always admired the way postmen carried themselves,” said the father of five.

Since then, he has enjoyed advancement in his career and is now the mail delivery manager of Pos Malaysia’s Puchong branch.

The 50-year-old plans delivery operations, budget and matters related to customer service.

Some of his fondest memories include delivering letters to a gentleman in the mid-1990s.

“He traded in the stock market and would receive letters almost daily. If he was expecting a letter and it did not arrive, he would look for me at the office.

“Another was a girl who would wait patiently for her boyfriend’s letter. She would ask me daily if there were any letters for her.

“Her letters were special because the address was always written in beautiful cursive handwriting,” said Baharuddin, who enjoys meeting people and making friends.

“I have become friends with many families and have delivered letters to most parts of Shah Alam.

“Sometimes when I’m at an eatery, my drink would be paid for. I believe the bill was settled by kind residents whose letters were delivered by me.

“Some residents have even invited me to their children’s weddings,” he said.

Baharuddin said as postmen, they usually develop good relationships with many organisations and are trusted to enter buildings with tight security.

“Sometimes, even MPs are not allowed into a building but we are given access because we are a familiar sight and have earned people’s trust,” he added.

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