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Good News: Coffee Brand Adopts An Orphaned Sun Bear Cub And 7 Other Feel-Good Stories

Amidst the ever-shifting tides of uncertainty that engulf our world, there emerges a steady stream of heartening and uplifting stories, serving as beacons of hope and optimism that guide us through these tumultuous times. In the face of challenges and adversities, the human spirit persists in finding ingenious ways to spread kindness, extend support, and celebrate triumphs, casting rays of positivity that touch us all. Read on for 8 good news stories…

#1: Sun Bear Cub Found A Family At Bask Bear 

The Malayan sun bear is one of the lesser-known species native to Malaysia, but it is threatened by habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. Coffee brand Bask Bear Coffee (which takes inspiration from the sun bear) is now helping its kindred – an orphaned cub who was captured and about to be kept as a pet.

The coffee brand has extended its support towards the rehabilitation and eventual release of a three-month-old bear named Tenom, who is currently under the care of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) near Elopura, Sabah. 

Dr Wong Siew Te, the CEO and founder of BSBCC, along with the team, presented a placard to signify this joint effort, symbolically representing Bask Bear Coffee’s commitment to aiding the cub’s journey back to the wild.

When we read in the news about Tenom’s rescue, we felt we had to do something,” said Loob Holding Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Bryan Loo. Loob is the brand owner of Bask Bear Coffee.

We immediately reached out to BSBCC to start the ball rolling.

Bask Bear Coffee had collaborated with BSBCC several years ago, so we’re familiar with the excellent work of the centre and its founder Dr Wong.

Our hope is that Tenom will be able to return to her natural home after undergoing rehabilitation at the centre. – Bryan Loob, Loob Holding Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder[1]

#2: Chinese Woman Shares Heartfelt Appreciation For Her Adoptive Muslim Family

Salinah’s biological father (first person from the right), Salinah (middle), and her adoptive father (last person on the right). Source: Harian Metro

Salinah Adelinah’s story demonstrates that family bonds go beyond blood relations, race or religion. The 27-year-old ethnically Chinese was adopted by a Muslim couple Saripah Abu Adam and Ahmad Mohammed Tahir when she was just a baby.

In all my 27 years of life, I have never heard my late mother and father say that I was an adopted child, no matter how angry they were at me.

I’ve always been their priority throughout their lives even though I am not of their lineage. – Salinah Adelinah, phone sales executive[2]

In an interview with Harian Metro, Salinah fondly recalled a cherished memory from 2013 when her late mother, who was facing health issues at the time and was no longer running her business, selflessly used all the coins she had to treat her daughter to a meal of chicken rice and cendol.

For their sake, I was also willing to give up the opportunity to become a soldier even though, at that time, I was already chosen to be enlisted in 2017, but my mother and father fell ill.

My mother passed away in the same year, but I am grateful to be able to (help) them even though I had to give up my dream of becoming a soldier. – Salinah Adelinah, phone sales executive[2]

Salinah, who now works as a phone sales executive, shared that she was born in Kuala Lumpur before being taken in by Saripah and Ahmad.

During that period, my (adoptive) mother ran a canteen in a factory. They had no children, and at that time, their best friend told them about me.

They then took me to a house in Ampang. If my (adoptive) mum and dad hadn’t take me, my (biological) grandmother would have been the person taking care of me.

With the permission of my biological family, my (adoptive) mother and father registered me as their adopted child, and we then moved to Merlimau (in Melaka). – Salinah Adelinah, phone sales executive[2]

When she was 13 years old, Salinah embraced Islam of her own free will after getting permission from her biological family. And although she chose Islam and continues to live with her adoptive family, she still maintains a good relationship with her biological family.

Our relationship has never been broken and some (biological) family members, such as my aunt, have also embraced Islam. My (adoptive) late mother and father also never denied or forbade me to see my biological family. – Salinah Adelinah, phone sales executive[2]

#3: Rewarded With A Job Offer After Helping An Uncle Who Humbly Asked Her For RM20 

Source: Wau Post

Having a stable income and job could be seen as a privilege as everyone may not be presented with the same opportunity. So when a woman resigned from her job with no back up plan, she found herself in a dire financial strait. That was when she received a note from an “uncle”, asking her if she had RM20 to spare. Knowing her financial state, she wasn’t at a liberty to offer much, but felt sympathetic towards the uncle[3].

“I believe it was really difficult for uncle as he was already asking for help”, she said.

After thinking about it, the woman decided to help the uncle despite her financial situation. Imagine her surprise when she found out that the first company she had interviewed with has decided to offer her a job.

In the offer letter, she was told to report to work on July 17, and she admitted that the offer letter came as a surprise to her. Relating back to how she helped the uncle, she believes that the opportunity she was given, is a blessing from God. She then urged the public to always do good and they will be rewarded by God in return[3].

#4: The First Iban Woman To Receive A PhD From Columbia University

Dr Felicia Genie Tersan at her ‘hooding ceremony’. Source: The Borneo Post

What started as a simple dream has become a reality for Dr Felicia Genie Tersan – the first female teacher from the Iban community to receive a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) from Columbia University in New York.

Felicia, 38, is originally from Sungai Tanduk, Undup, Sri Aman, and was awarded her diploma during the convocation held on May 17 and 18.  She successfully attained a PhD in English Education from Teachers College Columbia University, among the prestigious Ivy League universities in the United States.

Due to the renowned reputation of Ivy League universities as the most esteemed educational institutions globally known for their stringent selection processes, Felicia initially felt she was ‘not good enough’ to be accepted into Columbia University. Being accepted into the university and able to introduce Sarawak to the eyes of the world was beyond her wildest dream. 

Honestly, I didn’t think I would be given the opportunity to enter Columbia because firstly, the fees are expensive and I come from a modest family. Secondly, I didn’t feel I was good enough to go to this university.

However, due to my research interest in teacher professional development and rural community education, I set a goal to continue my PhD under my supervisor who happened to be at Columbia and had the same research interest in this field.

So I tried my luck by contacting my supervisor via email and explaining my plans.  Thankfully I received positive feedback and encouragement from her to apply there. – Dr Felicia Genie Tersan, English teacher[4]

Felicia felt a deep sense of pride in representing the Iban community, a sentiment she reflected in her research thesis titled ‘Coaching Across Cultures: A Narrative Inquiry of Instructional Coaching in Rural Sarawak’ that was chosen to receive the esteemed Doctoral Dissertation Award.

From the results of my search in the list of Columbia University alumni, as far as I have found, there has never been an Iban student who obtained a PhD from Columbia. Therefore, I decided to highlight the Iban identity while I was there, including in my thesis.

In my thesis, I highlighted the state of Sarawak and our multiracial culture, so when I was selected to receive this award, I was very honoured.

For me, this means that Sarawak and my community’s culture are appreciated on the world stage. When I went on stage for my ‘doctoral hooding’, I also wore an Iban scarf on the robe. – Dr Felicia Genie Tersan, English teacher[4]

She continued to highlight her culture on the world stage by donning an Iban scarf and a bag made using ‘pua kumbu’ cloth.

When wearing the Iban scarf, the people there asked about it and I took the opportunity to explain about the designs on the scarf and its connection with the culture of the Iban community.

During the convocation ceremony, I also brought a bag made by my aunt using ‘pua kumbu’ cloth woven using gold thread by my late grandmother when I was a child. The fabric is now over 30 years old. – Dr Felicia Genie Tersan, English teacher[4]

#5: Mothers Shed Tears Of Joy As Children Receive M’sian Citizenship

Philip (second left) hugs his mother Christina (second right) as Saifuddin (left) hands over the citizenship approval letter, witnessed by Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah (right). – Photo by Roystein Emmor. Source: The Borneo Post

Tears of happiness streamed down Christina Lendai’s cheeks as she watched her one-year-old son, Philip Lai Jung Pah, officially become a Malaysian citizen on July 24th. The touching moment unfolded during the citizenship presentation ceremony at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya.

It has been a long struggle, but I am fortunate and grateful because my son finally received his citizenship. – Christina Lendai[5]

Philip is among the selected 60 individuals who received their citizenship approval letters out of a pool of 946 applicants. The letters were presented by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. 

Christina, 20, reflects on her struggles in being stateless. She candidly discusses her challenges, revealing that she was only able to receive primary school education up to Standard 6. 

I could not attend school after Primary 6, because we needed to have IC when we reach the age of 12.

What could I do? It really broke my heart because all I could do was watch all my friends continue their studies and go to secondary school. – Christina Lendai[5]

Junaidah Jamuni, a mother from Kampung Sejingkat, shared her joy as her adopted daughter, Siti Nabila, officially became a Malaysian citizen. The 39-year-old mother expressed that after an 11-year wait, the day felt nothing short of magical when she woke up to the news of her daughter’s citizenship being granted. Her daughter, Nabila, had stopped attending school for two years due to cancer. 

The cost was not cheap, because she did not have an IC. We spent thousands of Ringgit but that does not matter because my husband and I love her like our own daughter. – Junaidah Jamuni[5]

#6: Orang Asli Helmet Menraq Patrol Awarded Internationally For Their Conservation Efforts

Menraq Patrol Unit members (from left) Ardi Kembong, Safian Latif, Fahmi Jali, Sufian Raman and Talib Mat Razi. Source: The Star

The leaders of the Orang Asli Menraq Patrol Unit have been honoured with the prestigious International Union for Conservation of Nature World Commission of Protected Areas (IUCN -WCPA) International Ranger Award 2023 for their dedicated conservation work within the Royal Belum State Park. This achievement is the first that a Malaysian team has secured this award. Now in its third year, the award ceremony coincides with World Ranger Day on July 31st.

The Menraq Patrol is a group of community patrollers comprised of the Jahai tribe, operating within the confines of the Royal Belum State Park. The team is a collaborative effort between the Perak State Parks Corporation and the NGO partner Rimau to ensure the survival of the critically endangered Malayan tiger. 

Ardi Kembong, the leader of the Menraq team, hopes that with their efforts recognised, it would only inspire other Orang Asli communities to also participate in the endeavour to protect the tiger population.

We are here to keep the area safe from poachers – we want to ensure that the Malayan tiger and other animals can live safely for our future generations. We are very proud to be able to protect the forest in Royal Belum. – Ardi Kembong, Menraq team leader[6]

#7: M’sian Grab Driver’s Unconventional Method Gained Him Potential Job Opportunities

25-year-old Grab driver Naziruddin Najohan had been looking for new job opportunities when he came up with a clever approach after being inspired by a previous customer; placing two identical laminated resumes behind the driver and front passenger seats.

To his surprise, this small effort yielded great results, with recruiters reaching out to him over the past two weeks.

(I) can’t believe this actually works. Last Monday (20 June), a passenger snapped a picture (of my resume) and sent it to a recruiter.

I thought that they were just an ordinary individual, but after looking them up on LinkedIn,  (I discovered) they are a department director at an e-commerce company.

I chatted with the recruiter yesterday (27 June). I am waiting for the next stage to see how things go. – Naziruddin Najohan, Grab driver[7]

The Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) chemical engineering graduate used to work as a sales engineer before quitting the job in April.

I have actually been working as a Grab driver for about a year and a half. But back then, I was just doing it part-time lah. (I only worked on) weekdays at night or weekends,” he said when contacted.

But since I quit my job at the end of April, I’ve become a full-time Grab driver while seeking a new permanent job. – Naziruddin Najohan, Grab driver[7]

However, Naziruddin aims to land a job in the oil and gas industry.

If you wish to reach out to Naziruddin for potential job opportunities, you can message him on LinkedIn.

#8: Nasi Lemak Seller Buys A New Bicycle For An Uncle In Poverty

Simple meal: Siti Suhaila packing Lui’s daily fix of nasi lemak and black coffee at her stall in George Town. Source: The Star

When a senior citizen became a regular visitor at her nasi lemak stall, Siti Suhaila Ithnin thought he was just another customer. That is until she noticed that he was collecting discarded cardboard boxes in his old rickety bicycle and sold them to a recycling centre.

I thought he was doing it for extra money but something about this uncle tugged at my heartstrings. – Siti Suhaila Ithnin, nasi lemak seller[8]

Siti Suhaila, whose stall is at Jalan Datuk Keramat in Penang’s George Town, said she could not ask for more details from the uncle as he could not speak Malay much. She would later learn that the 83-year-old’s name is Lui Chee Teik and that he also appeared to be suffering from dementia.

One day, the mother of a 22-month-old girl, decided to tail Lui home after he had bought his usual nasi lemak. And what she saw truly broke her heart.

He was living in extreme poverty. I realised he was collecting the cardboard boxes and selling them to pay for his daily nasi lemak. – Siti Suhaila Ithnin, nasi lemak seller[8]

Seeing this, Siti Suhaila then took it upon herself to upload a video of Lui’s plight on her TikTok account and stopped accepting money for his food from the next day onwards. Seeing the poor state of his bike, Siti Suhaila also decided to look for and buy him a new one.

As the bicycle cost about RM800, Siti Suhaila again posted on TikTok, asking if any of her followers would like to help out and donate half of the amount.

I managed to collect RM400 within a short period of time and went to buy the bicycle from a shop called Basikal Penang.

Its owner, who had come to know about the uncle through my TikTok posts, gave me a 50% discount on the bicycle. – Siti Suhaila Ithnin, nasi lemak seller[8]

Hence, in addition to presenting Lui with the bicycle, Siti Suhaila also gave him the remaining RM400 in cash.

Since then, Siti Suhaila said that many of her customers came to know of Lui’s predicament as well, and some of them decided to chip in by not taking their change back after buying her nasi lemak, saying that it was their contribution towards his daily meal.

He does not collect cardboard to be sold anymore. I think it is because he does not have to pay for his daily meal now.

I will continue to give him his usual nasi lemak or whatever he wants every day plus a cup of black coffee as well. – Siti Suhaila Ithnin, nasi lemak seller[8]

Explore our sources

  1. Coffee brand adopts orphaned sun bear cub for its rehab. The Star. Link.
  2. Y.W. Xiang. (2023). “I’ve Always Been Their Priority” — Chinese Woman Shares How She’s Adopted By Malay Family. Says. Link.
  3. Amanda. (2023). M’sian rewarded with a job offer after helping an uncle who humbly asked her for RM20. Wau Post. Link. 
  4. M.A.I. Abdullah. (2023). Ivy League PhD holder Felicia Genie the pride of the Iban community. The Borneo Post. Link.
  5. N.S. Ali. (2023). Tears of joy as mothers see children receive M’sian citizenship. The Borneo Post. Link.
  6. S.L. Leoi. (2023). Orang Asli Menraq Patrol Unit get international award for conservation efforts. The Star. Link.
  7. Y.W. Xiang. (2023). Job Opportunities Pour In After M’sian Grab Driver Attaches Resume To Car Headrest. Says. Link.
  8. W. Muthiah. (2023). A full cycle of kindness. The Star. Link.

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