Families finally reunite


Quality time together: Loke (second from right) making cookies with her family members (from left) nephew Noel Loke, 15, father Loke Soo Hua, 74, and niece Natalie Loke, 12, at their home in Klang. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

JOHOR BARU: There will be a Pavlova cake and a very happy mother in a town named Bandar Tenggara in Kulai today.

Thanks to the green light on interstate travel, studio manager Mohammad Rafiq Romayli, who works in Cyberjaya, is planning to surprise his mother on her birthday today.

“After hearing the good news, I quickly made plans to return home as I wanted to surprise her on her birthday, which falls on Oct 18,” he said, adding that he had ordered the Pavlova for the occasion.

His mother would be shocked to see him as he had told her that he could not be home as he was “busy with work”, said Rafiq, 27, who works for a media production company.

The last time he went back was in December last year.

“I miss my mother’s cooking. I miss her laksa Johor and fried wantan,” he said, adding that he would be home until Wednesday.

Rafiq said he did a Covid-19 self-test before taking the trip back to Johor just to be on the safe side.

“I was initially worried because my work involves meeting many people daily.

“After doing a self-test at home, I decided to go ahead with my plans to return home as my family members and I have all been fully vaccinated,” he said.

There is also a happy mother-daughter reunion in Kundang, Selangor.

Housewife Norfadzilah Mohd Ghani, 43, from Pahang, said it was a huge relief for her as she finally got the chance to see her mother.

“We have been separated for more than a year. It was an overwhelming moment for me when I finally got to be with her.

“I really missed my mum,” she said yesterday.

She said she drove to Selangor with her two children to see her mother over the weekend.

“Alhamdullilah, traffic was not bad,” said Norfadzilah, who lives in Felda Purun, Bera, Pahang.

Senior executive Loke Pei Wern has a similar happy story to share.

After being away from home for half a year, she is relieved to finally reunite with her parents at her hometown in Klang.

Having taken swab tests every fortnight and another self-test before heading home, Loke, who works in Penang, said: “I am really grateful that I can finally meet them. I have been concerned about them as they are getting old and I have not seen them for months.”

Loke, 40, said she was glad to be home.

“Seeing that they are well, just being around them, and doing simple things like chatting with them and watching TV together, gives me joy,” she said.

She said she had taken health precautions as she did not want to put her loved ones at risk.

“My father is in his mid-70s and my mother is nearing 70.

“And my mother is a dialysis patient. So I bought a self-test kit to get tested before I decided to head home,” said Loke.

Her company also has a routine practice to test the staff every fortnight.

Loke said she was confident enough to return home after consistently testing negative.

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