Former journalist raises funds for a jobless woman, ill husband struggling in MCO

John Bunyan
Former Kosmo! Perak bureau chief Mohamad Tarmize Mohd Nor (in blue) helps Vanaja Suppiah (left) wheel her husband to their ride in Ipoh March 26, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, March 26 — A former journalist turned e-hailing driver has raised funds to help an unemployed woman feed her jobless daughter and disabled husband during the movement control order.

Former Kosmo! Perak bureau chief Mohamad Tarmize Mohd Nor, who is now driving Grab, raised RM500 to help Vanaja Suppiah, 56, who is a regular rider, buy groceries as her family has no income.

Tarmize, who started to do e-hailing last month after being retrenched from Kosmo! in October, said his journalist friends from Kuala Lumpur donated the money after he wrote about Vanaja’s situation on Facebook.

“The woman is my regular customer. She usually brings her husband for hospital checkups and also to run errands.

“On Tuesday, she called and told me wanted to go to a pawn shop as she needed to pawn her remaining jewellery, which was given to her during her marriage, in order to buy groceries for her family.

“But I told her that all the pawn shops are closed due to movement control order and only will be open on April 1, if the ban was not extended. Her voice turned sad and she did not know what to do,” he told Malay Mail.

Tarmize said this was not the first time she asked him to bring her to the pawn shop. She already pawned some of her other jewellery to make ends meet as she has been unemployed for the last three months.

Earlier today, Tarmize handed over the donation to Vanaja at her house in Taman Pengkalan Baru here.

Tarmize added that his friends will also sponsor the Grab ride for Vanaja tomorrow as she needs to bring her husband to the clinic.

When met by Malay Mail, Vanaja said that she had worked as a dishwasher at several restaurants, before the last employer let her go early this year.

“At the moment, I’m only receiving monthly aid of RM350 from the State Welfare Department. I have utility bills to pay, need to buy groceries and also need money for transportation to bring my husband to the hospital for checkups.

“I have no other savings except for the jewellery I received during my wedding and I already pawned most of it to buy the things needed for the family and also for my husband’s medicine,” she said.

Vanaja also expressed her gratitude to Tarmize for helping her in her dire situation and to the woman who donated.

“I thank Tarmize for providing the transportation service as well as most of the Grab drivers usually refuse to bring passengers with wheelchairs,” she said.

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