Formerly a freelance private investigator (PI), Mohammad Faiz Bin Abdullah, 52, has been dedicated to helping the community since he was a kid. He is now a social activist who goes around aiding the underserved and the needy. He had to quit his job as a PI after 20 years as a result of the pandemic and currently works as a part-time e-hailing rider. He now occasionally visits residential flats and reaches out to the less fortunate in the community.
Carrying his mother’s words, ‘You don’t have to be rich to help others, you just need a heart to help others’, he said that ever since he was a child, he has always felt a desire to help people because he believes only by giving, do we receive. “It gives me a purpose and a sense of satisfaction.”
Starting solo last year in March since the first MCO, Faiz approached NGOs for food sponsorships. The daily necessities are distributed to the ones in need. Among the NGOs are Perak Women For Women Society (PWW), Soroptimist International Ipoh and Canning Garden Methodist Church.
“I’m aware that a lot of people are going through rough patches during this period of uncertainty and that makes me feel the need to help even more, especially the elderly and differently abled. The lockdown restricts their movement and makes it difficult for them to go out. Thus, providing them food packs can take the edge off their burden,” he stressed.
The lockdown has staggering impacts on social life, not to mention how it negatively affects one’s mental as well as physical wellbeing. “Sometimes they just need someone to talk with,” he said.
The 52-year-old is also very keen on promoting a sense of community. Last September, he gave an awareness speech at Taman Pertama Flat on how to properly discard garbage. Big piles of trash were seen all over the place even though communal bins were provided. The issue which has been ongoing for the past 20 years has now been resolved. He said one needs consistent effort to foster trust and build a bond with others.
He hopes to better the people’s livelihood by advocating togetherness among the community as he encourages them to participate in teamwork activities like gotong-royong (cleaning up work). Not only will it make them feel valued and part of the team, it’ll also educate them on the proper methods of trash disposal.
Initially, the residents were reluctant and uncooperative. However, over a period of time, his persistence and determination changed their minds. “I’m actively and personally involved in the programs to show them they are not alone,” he mentioned.
The dedicated activist realised that people rarely interact with their neighbours anymore, regardless of age or gender. Little did they know that having a support network is a form of keeping oneself motivated and encouraged. Hence, Faiz decided to create a WhatsApp group, ‘Kenalilah Jiran Anda’ (Get To Know Your Neighbours) to ensure there is communication among the residents. “It’s good to have a strong community bond so no one will be left behind. I encourage them to stay connected with one another,” he expressed.
In addition, Faiz assisted PWW in conducting registration drives to assist residents in registering for COVID-19 vaccination. The drives were held at Kampung Tai Lee, Medan Permai Buntong Flat, Harmoni Buntong Flat and Taman Pertama Flat. “It’s quite surprising that many of them are against vaccination and claim that immunisation is not safe. After some time, we managed to convince them and our efforts have paid off,” Faiz highlighted.
He is deeply grateful to the NGOs for their unwavering dedication and commitment and readiness to lend a hand. “I’m very thankful for PWW, as they always go out of their way to help others.”
Our society needs more people like Faiz! He is one of the unsung heroes who deserve support as well as recognition for his invaluable efforts.
Keep up the good work Faiz. Ipoh loves you.