SEREMBAN: Octogenarian Md Yassin Noordin Rowther finally has his wish fulfilled – to return to his ancestral home in Chennai to spend his remaining twilight years.
The 83-year-old bachelor boarded a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight at the KL International Airport (KLIA) on Saturday night, about three months after his plight was highlighted in The Star.
With tears brimming in his eyes, Md Yassin said: “I may not live that long but I hope God will bless caring Malaysians who showered me with affection and made my dream a reality.”
Among those present to bid farewell was 43-year-old Fadilah Edross, whose late father Mohd Edross Mohd Yassin, an imam at a mosque here, provided Md Yassin with food and shelter when he fled from the Japanese army during World War II.
Grasping Fadilah’s hands and thanking her repeatedly, Md Yassin said: “It is hard to come across a kind person like you and your family nowadays, I will forever cherish you all.”
Fadilah bought the flight ticket for Md Yassin and made arrangements to fly his belongings back to India.
“My family pray and hope that pakcik (Md Yassin) will be fine when he is back in India,” said Fadilah, a businesswoman who now lives in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.
Md Yassin had taught Fadilah and her brothers on ways to keep mosques clean and to be meticulous during prayer while staying with them.
The Rotary Club of Seremban took care of Md Yassin’s passport, visa and other financial aid which he would need when he returned to India.
The club’s secretary Dr C. S. Paul and community service director Joe B. Ragu were also present at the airport.
“Our mission is not completed just yet. We will be taking a flight to India next month to find out how he is adapting,” said Joe.
It was reported that Md Yassin arrived in Malaya in 1938 as an 18-year-old army recruit, several months after undergoing training with Madras Corps in British Army.
He met his friend fondly known as Leong Fook during a training stint in Rasah and after World War II, the two friends decided to quit the army, forego their pension and venture into food business.
Since Leong Fook’s demise in November last year, Md Yassin yearned to return to his village in Chennai and he had been selling balloons to save money for his trip.