Posted by: Gurindam Jiwa | Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Helping People is Required

One of the good things about this “job” was that you’d be right in the middle of the path to help people when the opportunities arise by supporting their applications for aids from the Tithe Center. Yesterday was the third of such opportunities.

It was a little strange in the beginning. The voice was familiar, for it was the same one who had asked for my signature only back in September. Hence my reservation was getting a little over me. The guy didn’t even live here in this community.

The man said he was Nik from Putrajaya whom I had encountered before, and he needed my help again in filling up the latest application forms. He would like to meet with me sometime after Isya’. I called Amran, who also had to co-sign the documents as the Residents Association’s Chairman. He voiced his concerns, too. So I suggested that the three of us met together when the guy showed up looking for us. Amran agreed, but advised that he might be late coming from work.

At 9:14pm the phone rang, and Nik was ready to meet me anywhere here. I called Amran, but Amran was still in Setapak working on his assignment. I guess I had to meet this Nik alone.

So I went downstairs, and after a quick call, located him in front of the maintenance office at ST7, next to his motorcycle. There used to be a bench there for people to take a breather, but no more. So I asked him over to ST2, and we sat at a bench there, and talk. I had to interview him.

His name was Ismail bin Yusof, but everybody called him Nik or Pok Nik, for God only knew reasons. He was a Penolong Pegawai Syariah (Assistant Syariah Officer) at the Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah (Syariah Justice Department) in Putrajaya. He received his Diploma in Syariah (Associate Degree in Islamic Laws) at Kolej Dar al-Hikmah as a part-time student while he was living here in Seri Tanjung. At the time, he would commute via the commuter train to his work at the Mahkamah Syariah (Court of Islamic Law) in KL.

Yes, he used to live here, years back. First at this block ST2 on the second floor. Many people knew him. I knew Rusdzi and wife Zaiton (or As, as she was more popularly known) knew him. Then Razak from the fifth floor walked down and recognized him. Razak even knew his wife worked at Hospital An-Nur. That’s good. While staying here at ST2, there was an auction offer for a unit at block ST7. He entered the bidding, and, lucky for him, he won the bid. He then moved to ST7-3-9. He fixed many things there including the floor, the ceiling, and the kitchen, among others. He was staying with his wife, children, and mother-in-law. Then his mother-in-law fell sick, and needed treatment.

His wife’s Mom was already on insulin injection, and now she needed thrice weekly hemodialysis. Our apartment complex was made for neither the handicapped nor the elderly. There wasn’t even an elevator. Walking up and down three stories was not going to help. Being a civil servant, he secured disabled-friendly government housing in Putrajaya, and moved there. His had his house here rented out to factory workers.

Hemodialysis treatment was expensive. 13 treatments a month at a private center cost about rm2600. Government hospitals provide cheaper alternative at the cost of looooong waiting lines! Unless one received new kidneys, the treatment would continue until the patient died. Seeking aid from the Putrajaya Government meant that he had to travel back and forth to KL just for the paperwork. The Federal Government’s office for this particular aid is at Jalan Ipoh, KL.

His wife happened to know an Ustaz from the Lembaga Zakat Selangor (Selangor Tithe Board). The Ustaz recommended the wife to apply for aids from the Selangor Tithe Board, instead. The aids office is at Section 8, just a few minutes’ drive from Hospital An-Nur. And that was what that brought him to me.

Back in September, it was Ustaz Baei and I who co-signed the documents. Nik was applying for the annual renewal of the aid for the year 2011. I signed and stamped the forms, and wished him well. By 10:30pm, Amran was still in Setapak. Nik said he’d wait. I would, too.


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