Our “Humans of Lazada” series takes a look at the professional and personal lives of the more than 9,000 people who work at Lazada. Click here for more stories from this series.
“‘Don’t worry. It’ll only last for two weeks.’ That was what I told my mother, confident that I would return to see my family in Pasir Gudang, Johor, after 14 days. Little did I know, weeks turned into a month and then it turned into many, many more.
It was on March 17 last year when my mum told me to come home. She was worried, since news broke that Malaysia was going to implement a movement control order to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I told her not to worry and that it would blow over soon. As the breadwinner of the family, I was determined to stay in Singapore and continue driving for RedMart. Do I regret my decision? No. My parents are old and they have always been there for me. Now it’s my turn to provide for them.
For years – probably a decade – I had been commuting to Singapore daily. When the pandemic hit and the borders closed, I had to stay in Singapore. In the years that I’ve been working at RedMart, it’s always been the little acts of kindness from customers that brighten up my day, and this is especially true now when I’m away from my family. Some customers provide bread and snacks by their door and some would offer drinks.
It’s definitely not easy being away from my parents and siblings. I can’t even begin to describe the sadness and uncertainty over when I can finally see them again. It was hardest during this Hari Raya, since I wasn’t able to celebrate the holiday with them for a second year. I felt really homesick. When I do video calls with my parents, they sometimes refuse to show their faces because they don’t want me to see that they are crying and that they miss me a lot.
What will I do if the restrictions are lifted tomorrow? I will drive home, appear at the doorstep and surprise my parents. I can’t wait for that day to come.”
Featured photo above: Maswandi Bin Basir (fourth from the right) and his family.
This profile was compiled by Norasikin Bte Ahmad from the Lazada Regional Communications team.
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