It would have been a mundane journey home, but a friendly question from Rafiqa Rizqin Roslan led a GrabCar driver to speak about his predicaments
Due to her friendly and warm personality, Rafiqa finds it easy to talk to anyone. It's not unusual for her to chat with her driver whenever she uses ride-hailing services. That was also how she got to know about one of the drivers more personally recently.
"How long have you been doing this GrabCar service, uncle?" Rafiqa asked her driver who picked her up from the Gombak LRT station.
The man began to open up and shared his story with Rafiqa during their short journey together.
Elderly people should be enjoying their retirement days, but instead, this 59-year-old GrabCar driver is out and about driving people around Kuala Lumpur, away from his home in Kelantan
"This uncle said that he came to Kuala Lumpur just to become a GrabCar driver. Two times a week he would go back to Kelantan. Stayed in a hotel. He said that he wanted to find more money to support his children's education," Rafiqa said.
"He added that if he wanted to go back to Kelantan, he would ask some students that he personally know if they wanted to follow him back. He will not even charge them a single cent."
Touched by his kindness and story, Rafiqa took to social media and retold the GrabCar driver's story. The story immediately went viral on social media.
Soon, Malaysians learned that the uncle's name is Baderuliksan Yaacob and he hails from Bachok, Kelantan.
"I am old. My body is weak, but there is a reason why I am still working as a GrabCar driver," said Baderuliksan, or fondly known as Pak Cik Badrul.
Pak Cik Badrul bears the burden to provide a good education for his three children who are still studying, two of whom are currently studying in Egypt and Medina.
"In the first month of being a Grab driver, there were many times I got scolded by customers for getting lost," the 59-year-old said.
Whenever a tourist gets into his car, he admitted that he feels a little pressured due to his limited English proficiency.
"But all of these I endure, because I think that this is rezeki. This is a provision that my wife and children need."
It has been almost five months since he began driving for Grab
It proved to be a challenging task to learn new things at an older age, but the hardworking father put his mind to it and took the time to learn how to use the Grab and Waze mobile applications that are helping him earn a living today.
According to Pak Cik Badrul, his wife and children initially disagreed with his decision to become a Grab driver because he would need to travel back and forth to Kelantan every two weeks.
However, they gave their support knowing that he is doing this for the sake of providing for the family.
It was revealed that his children who are married have their own responsibilities and do not have enough to contribute to the funds for their siblings who are studying abroad.
Although Rafiqa and Pak Cik Badrul's encounter was brief, something good has come out of it
"I really wasn't expecting the story to go viral, my intention was to just tell the story about him. But I'm grateful that the responses were positive and uplifting. Malaysians are really caring. The donations have been coming in endlessly ever since," Rafiqa told SAYS.
The 27-year-old, who plans to focus on her bridal bouquet business next month, has been keeping in touch with Pak Cik Badrul to stay updated on his well-being.
"I am still in touch with Pak Cik Badrul to update him about the news and the people who are trying to get in touch with him. In Allah's will, everything is going perfectly smooth. Alhamdulillah."
Rafiqa and Baderuliksan's story is one of many others featured on the Malaysian City Life series on SAYS. Do you have a story or experience to share, or have you seen any we should write about?
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