Ladang Bikam’s heroes of the night

Unity shines through: The selfless gesture of a group of villagers assisting drivers in bypassing the Hari Raya traffic jam by creating a shortcut through an oil palm plantation has deeply moved social media users. — Screencap from Zairul Annuar’s Facebook

PETALING JAYA: “The real heroes are Malaysians who help each other irrespective of race, religion or background.”

That was how Zairul Annuar Mohd Zin described a group of Chinese residents from Kampung Pelawan, Perak, who came out in the dead of night to help guide stranded Malay travellers make their way back to Kuala Lumpur after the Hari Raya festivities.

It was close to 10pm but the villagers mobilised and they even brought out a backhoe and repaired the dirt road so it was passable to cars.

“They could have not bothered about us and slept through the night.

“Instead, the residents organised themselves into small groups to help us make our way out of the oil palm plantation,” he said when contacted by The Star yesterday.

“I was very touched by their gesture,” he said.

 Zairul, 46, said he was going back to Kuala Lumpur with his wife and 17-year-old son after spending two days at the Lost World theme park in Tambun near Ipoh for the Raya holidays.

They left Ipoh at about 7.30pm but got stuck in a traffic jam along the highway near Simpang Pulai and decided to rely on Google Maps to navigate away from the gridlock.

“The map led us to an unpaved road through an oil palm plantation in Ladang Bikam but then there was a dead end. We could see several cars turning back.

“I was disappointed and upset at the thought of going back onto the gridlocked highway,” he said.

However, to his surprise, several Chinese men came out to help repair the dirt road and guide the cars to the road back to Kuala Lumpur.

“I was so relieved,” he said, adding that some residents from the nearby small housing estate in the village also used their motorcycles to help guide cars out.

On why he decided to post his experience on social media, Zairul said he wanted to highlight the positive aspects about Malaysians.

Zairul: I wanted to show that Malaysians can come together to help one another.Zairul: I wanted to show that Malaysians can come together to help one another.“Most of us that were lost in the plantation that night were Malays and those that came to help were a group of Chinese villagers,”

“It is not something that happens every day. I wanted to show Malaysians that we can come together to help one another irrespective of race, religion and background.

“These are the real heroes,” he said.

Zairul, who was raised in Kelana Jaya in Selangor said he had come back from Indonesia on the second day of Hari Raya to visit his parents who are staying in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

Zairul, a business consultant in Indonesia over the past decade, will be flying back to Jakarta tomorrow. But he will be taking the good memories of helpful Ladang Bikam villagers with him.

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Zairul Anuar , Ladang Bikam , Hari Raya , unity


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