An OKU mechanic in Perak is becoming a source of inspiration to his local community because of his "never-say-die" attitude
Azhar Ibrahim is visually impaired but he's become an example to people that everyone can be successful, especially those who are born with no disabilities and in a healthy condition.
Despite his physical limitation, the 33-year-old does not depend on the mercy of others to meet the needs of his life and instead overcame challenges to open his own workshop and acquired skills to become a mechanic about six years ago.
Some people has even referred to him using the OKU term but not as orang kurang upaya (persons with disability) but as 'orang kuat usaha' (persons who're hardworking) because he does not know the meaning of giving up.
"Like me, I cannot see and only know how to become a mechanic. If given the chance to see, I will definitely put (my) vision to good use," Azhar told Harian Metro.
It all started about seven years ago, when his father's motorcycle kept breaking down despite being sent for repairs for several times
He found out that the workshop was using poor quality goods but charged his father with expensive fees for the repairs.
"So I decided to become an honest mechanic who does not deceive the public."
Azhar only took one month to learn from a friend, who offered to teach him some skills and knowledge on how to fix motorcycles.
"Incidentally, I was really interested, so maybe that made the learning curve smoother."
"I've always been interested in the field of auto repair and each time my customers entrust their precious vehicles to me, I will make sure they will function like a new motorcycle."
How does he do it?
Although he is limited by vision, Azhar explained that his sense of touch plays a crucial role in helping him ensure that the spare parts are installed correctly without any errors.
"Sense of touch is very important. From there, I can know where is the screw, block, carburettor, and other parts on the motorcycle."
"If you want me to explain how I can be skilled with the sense of touch, it cannot be described with words. Allah is the one who gave all of this," he told Sinar Harian in an interview earlier this year.
Azhar has been doing a great job, so much so that he had gotten the attention of Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) last year
Last year, his workshop in Tanjung Tualang, Perak, got an upgrade.
Prior to the RM13,000 funds contributed by MAI to furnish his workshop, Azhar's humble workspace did not even have a signage.
With the funds, he was able to improve the workshop to make it more comfortable for himself and his customers.
Azhar also said that he was extremely thankful that orang kampung (villagers) like him are also being supported by the institution.
He also offered a sound advice on employment opportunities to the people out there — don't be choosy
He said that people should be realistic in their search for jobs so that they will not be plagued by unemployment.
"Don't be choosy because whatever jobs that we are committed to will certainly allow us to gain experiences while we look for opportunities to get a better job," he was quoted as saying by Harian Metro.
He added that young people should seize the opportunity to work hard to find rezeki (sustenance) while they can.