Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary at the Jejak Asnaf programme. -SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mother-of-five Norhayatul Shima Maulana was at her wits’ end when her food supply was cut short for almost a week, due to a lack of funds a few months ago.

Luckily, help came just in time in the form of caring neighbours and the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP).

The 29-year-old, who lives at the Sri Selangor Public Housing in Pudu, said the family had run out of money after her husband could not return from Sabah for four months due to the movement control order.

The full-time housewife, who hails from Sabah, lives here in KL with her three children and has no other source of income.

“My husband had gone back to Sabah to settle some family issues, as two of our children are still living there.

“But he was stuck there and also could not provide us with any support.

“During that one week, we only ate rice porridge or fried rice. Sometimes, some of the neighbours would provide other food.

“I didn’t even know that the residents’ association here had contacted MAIWP until they came to our house,” she said.

Under MAIWP’s Baitulmal zakat assistance, Norhayatul Shima was given a lifeline of RM500 a month to pay for rent and her daily expenses.

Her husband Teruna Aduka, 32, was also given monetary assistance by MAIWP to fly back to KL. MAIWP also helped to secure him a job as a security guard at a nearby location.

He said, “I was sad that I could not be there for my family, but could rest easy knowing that they were being taken care of.”

The couple were visited by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary under the Jejak Asnaf programme, which provides necessities to several poor households (asnaf) in the city.

In a similar situation was single mother Norkhuzaimah Abd Rahman, 38, who is also a resident at the Sri Selangor flats and lives with her three children.

She said she was barely making ends meet by selling cookies from her home kitchen, after having to quit her job as a health care assistant three years ago.

“I had to stay home to look after my youngest son who was born with a heart condition.

“He had to have an operation and I have to be here full time with him.

“At least now with some assistance from MAIWP, I can have some ease of mind,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Marzuk encouraged the public to alert MAIWP should they come across families in need of assistance.

He explained, “The Jejak Asnaf Squad has been mobilised to identify and help hardcore poor.

“This is MAIWP’s job to ensure that no group is left behind. The proceeds of zakat collection from payers is used to provide assistance to those in need.”

To date, MAIWP supports some 27,000 people in the federal territories of Putrajaya, KL and Labuan every month.

Also present during the programme were Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Mohd Ajib Ismail and MAIWP acting chief executive officer Mohd Nizam Yahya.

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