King surprises disabled man with gift of a house

15 Feb 2023 10:49pm

PEKAN - A chance meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al Mustafa Billah Shah at a function more than a year ago has brought an unexpected surprise for the disabled retail store trader Mohd Khairi Othman.

Al-Sultan Abdullah had offered to gift 47-year old Mohd Khairi, from Kampung Tanjung Pulai here, a house.

"Initially, I thought His Majesty only came to say hello but it turned out there was a blessing for me and my family by the end of the meeting. His Majesty said he wanted to give me a house since the Poorest Peoples Housing Project (PPRT) house I was residing then was hit by floods," said Mophd Khairi.

" 'Kecil tapak tangan, nyiru saya ditadahkan,' that was what came out of my mouth after hearing his offer," he said.

Mohd Khairi was gifted a house from Yayasan Al-Sultan Abdullah (Yasa) which was handed over by His Majesty in a ceremony here today.

Also present were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and state government secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak.

Mohd Khairi, who runs a small grocery store, admitted that he had long harbored the desire to own a house on his own land.

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"Previously, I had received a PPRT house, but it was built on land that belonged to a family member and now my dream has come true due to His Majesty's concern.

"This house was built about two months ago and was handed over today (Wednesday)," he said.

The house meant a lot to Mohd Khairi and his wife Zaleha Mohd Nafis,49, and their son Muhammad Tasnim, 12.

The house was built with a disabled-friendly design and was also equipped with space for him to run his grocery store.

He said that besides running the grocery store, he also earned side income as a freshwater fisherman.

Mohd Khairi, who was born with physical deficiency and was dependent on the wheelchair never used his imperfections as obstacles to try continue working in order to support his family.

"I used to farm fishes in cages but I had to stop after the cages were destroyed due to severe flood few years ago.

"A lot of money is needed to start again so I had to find another souce of income by running a small business," he said.