A very lucky Foodpanda rider from Penang was given a brand-new motorbike to use on his day job on the first day of Ramadhan, a month-long time of reflection, revelation, and prayer. The rider has been using a broken bicycle which he borrowed from a friend to deliver orders to customers.
A member of parliament for Penang-Malaysia, Steven Sim Chee Keong, was inspired by the perseverance of a Foodpanda rider who uses a borrowed, broken bicycle at work to earn a living. Steven took the opportunity to reflect on the value of life during this month-long event.
According to a post on his Facebook page, Steven shared the rider’s story and posted some photos, sharing that he decided to buy a new motorbike for the rider to make his job easier. His broken bike has been upgraded to a new Honda motorbike worth RM4,500, including road tax, insurance, and a full tank of fuel.
Steven wrote, “It’s the first day of Ramadhan. I met with a Foodpanda rider who helped me realize the value of life.”
“Brother Mohamad has been riding a bicycle through the rain and heat for the sake of a mouthful of rice, even while fasting. When I asked him why he was riding a bicycle instead of a motorcycle like the rest, he answered that he didn’t have a motorcycle.”
Steven also discovered that the bike he was using to make his deliveries to customers was borrowed from a friend. Some parts of the bicycle were broken and the seat was not attached too tight, but he made do anyways to make an honest living.
“22-year-old Mohamad had moved to Penang from Kelantan for work. His family is not rich but they prioritize education. They have 10 siblings. His father is a religious teacher. He, himself, graduated with a Polytechnic diploma in engineering, with outstanding results,” Steven explained.
The rider only earns RM500.00 a month from his job at Foodpanda, which is barely enough for his meals. Thankfully, his friend helps him with his monthly room rental.
“Mohamad doesn’t complain, as he is grateful for the opportunity. Instead, after work every day, he borrows his friend’s bicycle to be a Foodpanda rider. After work, he would rest for an hour and would paddle until 11:00 PM. He would get RM20-RM30 a day, which is enough to eat a few times.”
“Sometimes, he eats nasi lemak every day because he wants to save money,” he said, adding that both of Mohamad’s arms were also badly sunburnt due to the scorching heat.
Steven was moved by Mohamad’s story and decided to help, but when he was asked how he could, Mohamad was too shy to answer.
“How about this, I’m not good at religion, but my friends have taught me that the month of Ramadhan is full of blessings. I want to be blessed this Ramadhan, I’ll buy you a motorcycle,” Steven told Mohamad.
“Initially, he couldn’t believe it. But, when I took him to the motorcycle shop in Bukit Mertajam, he was touched. We bought a Honda.”
After they purchased the motorbike, they made a stop at a pharmacy to buy cream to help ease the burn pains on Mohamad’s arms.
“We also went to a pharmacy to buy aloe vera creams and sunblock. I reminded Mohamad to apply the creams every day before he goes out to make deliveries. We need to care for our health. If he falls sick, his parents would worry,”
“Today is the first day of Ramadhan and I learned something important. We must be very patient while facing the challenges in our lives. Don’t give up no matter how difficult it gets. There’s wisdom in everything and God will never abandon us. Brother Mohamad has made me realize that.” Steven shared, adding that they celebrated the first Iftar of the year together.
Steven’s post ended with a wish for Mohamad, that he may find this celebration of Ramadhan more meaningful, though being away from his family to work hard and earn a living.
Mohamad is very grateful for the new motorcycle, though he still has the intense heat of the Malaysian sun to endure, he already has the creams to prevent further burns.
Most importantly, we all should be thankful for the simple luxuries and privileges that we have in life, as many out there like Mohamad, have to struggle just to stay afloat.
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Image credit: Steven Sim Chee Keong | Facebook