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Good News: Former Single Mom Sets Up Shelter To Help Other Single Moms and And 8 Other Inspiring Stories

Discover the transformative power of generosity and selflessness in the face of adversity. Read Manisha’s story, a young woman who pledged to donate her organs after she passed to save other lives and 8 more stories of people who rose above their challenges, made a positive difference in their communities and spread happiness and kindness in their own unique way.

#1: A Life That Keeps Giving Even After Her Passing

Organ donation is goodwill that extends beyond a lifetime. Manisha may have passed away too soon at 35, however, her choice of becoming an organ donor only benefited the recipients.

I wish to tell the world that the impact of pledging your organs is far-reaching. And it gives much joy to the family members you leave behind. It reduces the pain of their loss after you leave them.  – Jagan Mongan, Manisha’s father[1]

Following her passing on March 28, various transplant teams; cardiothoracic from the National Heart Institute, hepatobiliary from Hospital Selayang and Urology from both Hospital Selayang and Hospital Kuala Lumpur sprung into action to harvest Manisha’s organs. Her donations saved three lives. 

However, there were only immediate recipients for the two kidneys and liver. Her corneas and bones were harvested and are being stored for future use. Corneas have a two-week deadline but bones can be kept for a lifetime. – Dr Faiqah Nastasha Mohamed Sam, the donor coordinator at Hospital Sungai Buloh[1]

30 hours later, her body was claimed by her family for funeral arrangements. Her father, Jagan Mongan, said that Manisha always helped those in need and that her organ donation has soothed his pain to no end.  

We do not know who the recipients are nor their race or religion but the fact that Manisha has put a smile back on their faces gives my family a joy that is beyond words. Thank God we knew she had pledged all her organs before she left us. Jagan Mongan, Manisha’s father [1]

To learn more about organ donation:

#2: A Fresh Start For Kak Ina After Debt Repayment

Known for his goodwill, Steven Sim, the Finance Deputy Minister II  and Bukit Mertajam MP strikes again. Earlier in April, he lifted the burden of a struggling Penangite, Kak Ina. Kak Ina was previously blacklisted by her bank as she couldn’t afford to pay her RM 15k debt with a wage of RM800 to RM1,000 per month as a delivery personnel.

Kak Ina took on 25 delivery jobs each day to pay back the debt[2] from her late mother’s medical treatment. Kak Ina went to bed hungry some days.

Sometimes she would have no money to buy food and it’s not because Kak Ina was lazy to work, but because she was trapped in a cycle of debt, which made her unable to improve her work life.  – Steven Sim, Finance Deputy Minister II  and Bukit Mertajam MP [2]

Hearing this the Bukit Mertajam MP paid Kak Ina’s outstanding debt and cleared her name. With a clean slate, Steven Sim employed the help of his friend, CARSOME founder, Eric Chang.

Eric immediately offered her a RM23,000 van. Even though the car is secondhand, CARSOME did an amazing job inspecting the vehicle.– Steven Sim, Finance Deputy Minister II  and Bukit Mertajam MP[2]

And to ensure Kak Ina is set on her upcoming journey, Steven enlisted the help of his friend, Giden Lim, who runs the flower delivery service, Bloom This. Kak Ina was hired and now works as a delivery worker with a livable income.

He told me that his company would hire Ina to work as a freelance flower delivery person. He expects Ina to earn around RM3,000 to 5,000 a month if she is willing to work hard. – Steven Sim, Finance Deputy Minister II  and Bukit Mertajam MP[2]

In return, Steven wished that Kak Ina would pay forward the debt and give back to others once she earns RM 3k a month.

Once you are able, Kak Ina must help other struggling individuals as a way to pay this forward. – Steven Sim, Finance Deputy Minister II  and Bukit Mertajam MP[3]

#3: Krishna Kumar And His Undying Passion For Teaching

Krishna Kumar, has been semi-paralysed due to polio since childhood – but that however did not stop him from starting a career as a tuition teacher in 1989. In 2021, Krishna suffered a serious spinal injury following a fall from a staircase while giving tuition lessons to a group of orphans. 

Source: The Star

The fall left me immobilised for nine months. At times, I felt it was the end. I was bedridden for four months and was wheelchair-bound for five months.
Krishna Kumar [4]

Despite the injury, it did not dampen his passion for teaching. Driven by it, Krishna stood up and walked again using a walking frame. At the start, the pain was unbearable but improved. 

Earlier in April, the 54-year-old stood in front of 50 trainees of a pastry training programme organised by the Malaysian Indian Community Transformation Unit (Mitra) at Accelskill Academy in Jalan Hang Tuah. 

Source: The Star

Krishna is also the general manager-cum-trainer at the Social Development Foundation (YPS) that manages courses with the Prime Minister’s Department. Since 2011, YPS has equipped over 6,000 young women from the lower income group with business and language courses. 

No matter what my condition, I’m sure I will continue teaching until my last breath. Krishna Kumar [4]

#4:Pauline Leong, Former Single Mother Uplifting Other Single Mothers

Pauline Leong’s first marriage did not end happily. In 2002, her husband left her to care for their three children. She knew she had to pull herself together now that she was a single mother, as there is no time to wallow in sorrow and self-pity. 

I put aside my hurt as well as sorrow and started doing any work that came my way to take care of my children. Pauline Leong [5]

Pauline took up jobs that came her way, including teaching tuition classes, delivering goods and sending children to school. 

I wanted to give my children the best so that they would not have to suffer poverty when they were adults as well Pauline Leong [5]

Today, her diligence and work paid off as all of her children succeeded in their own fields. Her eldest daughter holds a PhD in environmental studies and currently resides and works in Germany. One of her sons is a marketing director at a local company and her youngest son just completed a postgraduate degree in psychology. 

Source: The Star

Pauline, who is now standing on steady ground, remarried in 2016 and continues to run a coffee shop in Taman Desawan since she started it seven years ago. She also finds happiness by helping other single mothers.

The first single mother I hired has been with me for six years now and has two children aged 11 and 13. She was unable to find a job because she took both her children to work with her as the 11-year-old was severely disabled and she had no one to take care of them. Pauline Leong [5]

In addition, Pauline runs a shelter for single mothers and their children as well as providing a place to live for children who were left behind.

Some of these women were worse off than me but stood tall in the face of adversity. I salute all of them.  Pauline Leong [5]

#5: RM 3 Chicken Rice, Ensuring Everyone Gets A Good Meal

Since October 2022, Ong Eng Kim, the owner of a Chicken Rice stall, has been selling chicken rice, roasted pork and barbecued pork rice for RM 3. Despite the low price tag, Ong shared that her business is doing well. Previously, Ong sold chicken rice for RM5, and only managed seven or eight roasted chickens per day.

Since the price cut, he has sold 20 roasted chickens daily. Ong is content with making smaller profits than his competitors, as his intention of selling food at a lower price is to help others struggling through tough times post-pandemic. 

Even though the pandemic has passed, many are still struggling financially. And though I don’t earn much with the RM3 chicken rice, the most important thing is that I’m able to help others by filling their stomachs. – Ong Eng Kim, owner of a chicken rice stall[6]

Ong, now, aims to sell up to 25 chickens daily.

#6: Band Reunited, A Proof Of Lifelong Camaraderie

United by their love for music,  five teenagers in Penang got together and started busking at Gurney Drive in Georgetown leisurely in 1968. On their setlist, often there are covers of hit songs, but as a treat for their audience, Born Free sometimes plays some of their original numbers.

Source: Paul Augustin / Penang House of Music

Fast forward to 2023. All the band members are scattered around the globe while one member, Paul passed away a few years ago. The band last performed together in 2018 to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

The band recently got together, having heard that their lead singer, Lawrence Chee, was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. The band organised a reunion concert to raise funds for Chee’s treatment and medication. 

I had to be here jamming with my mates, nowhere else to be. – Lawrence Chee, Born Free lead singer [7]

The concert held at Penang House of Music in Komtar Digital Mall saw 100 people in attendance. This included legendary singer David Arumugam and his fellow Alleycats bandmate and brother, Shunmugam “Shun Boy ” Arumugam. Their performance earned them RM 4,000 within two hours. 

#7: RM 0.10 Kuih, Husband-Wife Duo Putting Good Intention Before Profit 

It is increasingly difficult these days to find affordable food or kuih, especially with the rising prices of raw goods. But in Kedah, a hawker, 54-year-old Roslina Saad and her husband, 55-year-old Zulkifli Abdul Razak sold local delicacies at a low price of 10 sen per piece. The Gerai Cucoq Sekupang has all sorts of kuih, from karipap to buah melaka or onde-onde

The stall, however, wasn’t set up overnight, it has operated for the past twenty years. Roslina has maintained its 10 sen price tag despite inflation and economic uncertainties. 

Source: Astro AWANI

Many may think that you won’t be able to earn money from this but actually, it’s not as bad as people think. We can still sustain despite the price and most importantly, people are still able to enjoy these delicacies at an affordable price. – Roslina Saad [8]

With good intention comes additional blessing, as their 5,000 pieces of kuih are often sold out within the first two hours of sale daily.

#8: Once Stateless, R.Ragu Travelling Nationwide To Spread Awareness Of What It Means To Be One

Those who are stateless in the country they were born in lose out on equal rights in education, healthcare and employment. This was the reality for R. Ragu, who was abandoned as a four-year-old child in Parit Buntar, Perak. Unfortunately, Ragu’s birth was not recorded, so he didn’t have a birth certificate. Ragu was taken in by social welfare and remained under their care until 16 years old. 

I had been trying to get an identity card since I was 12. I read law books and learned about citizenship (rights). – R.Ragu, founder of Voice Stateless [8]

For decades, he fought to be acknowledged in the country he was born in. In 2008, his predicament received the attention of former Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. Ragu slept outside Istana Kinta for three days to meet the Sultan to explain his plight. 

Source: The Star

With that, Ragu was issued a temporary resident identity card (MyKas) under Sultan Azlan’s order. 

In years to come, the Ipoh resident embarked on long-distance walks, and bicycle rides with the Jalur Gemilang to highlight his plight. These include his 2012 expedition where Ragu walked 980 km from Melaka to Perlis. In 2014 and 2015, Ragu cycled over 2,000km across Peninsular Malaysia with his daughters. 

One of his expeditions secured him and his teenage son R. Surya in the Malaysia Book of Records for the Longest Distance Walk by a Duo. This was for walking 1,400 km from Johor to Perlis.

At 45, Ragu finally received his MyKad. Despite this, there are some damages that are irreparable. 

However, I can never get back the time lost due to the citizenship issues. Because of not having an identity card, it was difficult for me to have a stable career or even apply for a bank loan.– R.Ragu, founder of Voice Stateless [9]

Through his Facebook page, Voice Stateless, Ragu was approached by those seeking citizenship.

I have assisted more than 100 people in the last two years in getting their MyKad or birth certificate because I know the pain they are going through.– R.Ragu, founder of Voice Stateless [9]

Ragu did his part to assist and help those who reached out to him. Through his expeditions, he hopes to share his story and raise the issue of statelessness in Malaysia. 

When they reach out to me, I try to help them based on my experience and advise them.I explain to them step by step what to do, to assist them with the correct way to submit their applications. – R.Ragu, founder of Voice Stateless [9]

#9: Making A Security Guard’s Day

They said, to get someone’s heart is through the stomach and Abe Bakar did just that. Through his Facebook post, Abe Bakar shared that he had learnt to cook a Nepalese traditional dish, Momo. This was a favourite dish of a Nepalese security guard he approached.

He said that he has not eaten (this dish) for 3 years and misses the food very much because he has not been back in Nepal for a long time. – Abe Bakar [10]

On a mission, Abe quickly learnt to cook the dish to the pleasure of the security guard – through a video recording. The security guard’s face lit up once Abe gave him the dish.

Insyallah, we will try to make many more people happy by cooking food they have wanted or longed to eat for a long time. It is also quite challenging to cook Nepalese Momo, a traditional dish of the Nepalese people.– Abe Bakar [10]

Explore our sources:

  1. K. Parkaran. (2023). Dead at 35 but Manisha’s organs save lives. Free Malaysia Today. Link 
  2. A.Nur’aiman. (2023). Bukit Mertajam MP Helps Woman In RM15K Debt To Get A Job & A Van To Use For Work. SAYS. Link
  3. URFAVARIES. (2023). Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Helped Pay Off Struggling Penang Woman’s RM15K Debt. Link 
  4. RSN Murali. (2023).Krishna Kumar walks again to teach. The Star. Link 
  5. W.Muthiah. (2023). Single mum of three reinvents herself to achieve success, now helps others. The Star. Link 
  6. A.Nur’aiman. (2023).Vendor In Penang Sells RM3 Chicken Rice To Help Those Who Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet.SAYS. Link
  7. P.Nambiar. (2023).To help bandmate, Penang’s Born Free makes music once again. Free Malaysia Today. Link 
  8. Amanda. (2023). “I want to help people,” Kedah woman sells kuih at just 10 sen/piece, hasn’t changed prices in 20 years! Waupost. Link
  9. Renushara. (2023). M’sian Makes Security Guard’s Day By Cooking Him A Nepalese Dish He Has Not Had In 3 Years. World of Buzz. Link

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