Garbage truck driver is three-year-old boy’s unsung hero


Thank you, Uncle Azmi: Gary carrying Tyler as they pose for the camera with Azmi and his garbage truck outside their home in Taman Mutiara Rini, Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Every Wednesday and Sunday morning, little Tyler Yeow will be on standby near the front door of his home to wait for the arrival of his hero – the garbage truck driver.

The three-year-old will run to the door when he hears the sound of the trash compactor truck entering his street in Taman Mutiara Rini and wave at the waste management workers, especially lorry driver Azmi Kadir.

Tyler’s father Gary Yeow, 35, said the boy, who has an interest in heavy vehicles, developed a fascination with garbage trucks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When we were encouraged to stay at home during the movement control orders, the arrival of the garbage truck was always something that my son looked forward to.

“He would ask me to prop him up for a better view of the truck and watch as the garbage collectors do their job, come rain or shine.

“He would get such a kick when Azmi or the other workers waved back at him or did some funny actions to make him laugh,” he said in an interview.

Impressed by the workers’ commitment to their job, Gary said he decided to send an email to the waste management company in late June to compliment them.

“It was also a good opportunity to educate my son about the concept of a balanced social economy and the importance of appreciating people who hold various jobs,” said Gary, who works for a maritime software company.

He added that he was surprised to hear back from the waste management company and that some of their representatives, including Azmi, wanted to pay them a visit.

“Tyler was overjoyed about meeting his hero. That morning, he quickly ate his breakfast and got ready before they came.

“During the meeting, he even showed Azmi his garbage truck toy model and posed for photos together.

“We also got the chance to sit on the trash compactor lorry and were impressed by how clean it was,” he said, adding that their encounter was also posted on SWM Environment Sdn Bhd’s Facebook page.

Gary said what touched him the most was seeing Azmi’s wife and daughter in the comment section of the post, expressing their pride in him.

“This further shows that hard work – no matter the job – should be recognised.

“I hope that society will have a more positive view towards such manual workers as they are also earning an honest living to feed their families and contribute to the country,” he added.

In the post, SWM Environment said the visit was arranged in conjunction with Global Garbage Man Day.

Azmi, 51, has been working as a compact lorry driver for 10 years and is currently serving the Iskandar Puteri area.

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