10 Everyday Malaysians Whose Life Stories Inspired Us All In 2016

We've definitely learned a thing or two from each of these individuals. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • Cover image via SAYS

1. Nizam Mustapha was going to decline an offer from a private university due to financial issues. However, his father interfered and worked tirelessly to put Nizam through university. Nizam made his parents proud and graduated recently!

Image via Nizam Mustapha

"Don't you even try to fool around during your student life. Strive as much as you can. Not everyone is able to be at where you are today, so be grateful and remember your abah and mak." - Nizam Mustapha.

Read about Nizam's inspiring journey to his graduation here!

2. Bala is a toy seller. He has difficulties speaking and moving around so people often abuse him and some even called him a 'cheat'. Yet, he perseveres because all he really wants is to earn an honest living.

Image via SAYS

"I don't need donations. I am only doing business." - Bala.

Read about Bala and how a stranger-turn-friend reached out to help him here.

3. Cikgu Man was called a "beggar" and arrested for playing music in the public. Mohamad Nazmi, Cikgu Man's son-in-law, shared how the family went through the ordeal. They're now fighting to ensure that buskers will not suffer the same fate as Cikgu Man did.

Image via Mc Zaheer

"I hope that buskers in Sungai Petani and all around Malaysia would know about your rights and defend your dignity, even if you’re just a street musician. Don’t let others ridicule or manipulate you just because 'you only know how to play music'." - Mohamad Nazmi Zaidi Moni.

Read about Cikgu Man's story here.

4. Nicky Lim dropped out of college and his businesses failed. He was balding, and he was not talking to his father. But finally, things took a positive turn as he re-discovered himself and his purpose in life.

Image via SAYS

"As much as I hate to admit this but despite all that has happened, I'd like to believe that all my dad ever wanted for me was to do well and be the better person in life. He just probably didn't know how to teach me and over the years." - Nicky Lim.

Read about Nicky's amazing story about perseverance and love here.

5. Esther Erin was only seven years old when her brother, Walter, was diagnosed with stage four cancer. After five long years of worries and stress, Walter received long-term cure for his condition and she couldn't be any happier.

Image via Esther Erin

"We've gotten closer because he faced a near death situation. We were never close before he got leukaemia because of our age gap. I was too young then and we didn't have many similar interests." - Esther Erin.

Read about how Esther journeyed together with her brother as they walked together on the road of recovery here.

6. Syahril A. Kadir unexpectedly met a young waiter, Dan Lo, and got to know that he is autistic. Dan has a reputation for being the most hardworking worker there, and Syahril was truly humbled to learn about his story.

"Dan's story should open our eyes and ears so that we will not forsake those who are like him." - Syahril A. Kadir.

Read about Dan Lo's story here.

7. Kiew Ting Yi had never taken the LRT unaccompanied before and when she did for the first time, she ended up crying. Although it was a frustrating journey, she is grateful to have taken the first step to being more independent.

Image via Kiew Ting Yi

"I hope that many Malaysian parents would learn to let their children take public transportation. It was an amazing experience no doubt!" - Kiew Ting Yi.

Read about her first experience of taking the LRT alone here.

8. Lee Seng Hoo tragically lost his father to suicide last year. Until today, he does not know the reason but as he struggles with grief, he has also learned to live without the presence of a father.

Image via Seng Hoo

"Death changes you. Some parts of me have changed. I fought and will continue fighting through it because I'm a f###ing strong person." - Lee Seng Hoo.

Read his heartfelt message about suicide here.

9. Venoshini Sevalimgam called up a company for a part-time job but the first thing the interviewer asked was about her race. It was a hurtful experience but she was better off as she landed a job as a lecturer's assistant at a local university later.

"You, sir, on the other side of the line, I will never know you but you could've just missed out on a stellar employee." - Venoshini Sevalimgam.

Read about Venoshini's racist telephone interview encounter here.

10. Shalni S. Sami visited Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta and the experience was not as scary as many have thought or said. That day, she had a newfound respect for all the staff there as she realised how challenging it is to care for the patients.

Image via Shalni Sami

"I could feel their suffering when I look at them, and I hope that one day I will get a chance to help them relieve their pain in whatever ways possible in my own capacity." - Shalni S. Sami.

Read about her visit to Hospital Bahagia Tanjung Rambutan here.

These are just some of the individuals that we've featured in 2016 for the Malaysian City Life series on SAYS. We'd like to thank everyone for sharing your heartfelt story with us! We were absolutely inspired. :)

Living in the city ain’t a piece of cake but it could also be exciting and adventurous. How are you coping? How are you making the best out of things? Do you have a story or experience to share?

SUBMIT YOUR STORY NOW, or work on it and send it soon. Share a personal experience, your story as an urban city-dweller in Malaysia, whether it’s yours or from someone you know, email [email protected] or FB message us.

We’ll get in touch with you for your story to be featured on SAYS!

Stay tuned for the next episode!

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