The family which could not afford enough personal devices for seven out of 14 children to follow their lessons through home-based learning can now breathe a sigh of relief as some much-needed help has arrived, easing the burden on them all.
MalaysiaNow previously reported about Shaifol Bahri Mustaffa Kamalluddin and Norilla Mustafa Albakri, who live in a low-cost flat in Seri Semarak, Kuala Lumpur with their 10 children and four grandchildren.
Due to their financial constraints, they were unable to afford enough gadgets for the five children and two grandchildren currently attending classes online under the movement control order.
After learning of their situation, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin contributed six tablets, a WiFi modem and some kitchen necessities.
Norilla, 49, said she was grateful for the help she and her family had received.
“There is nothing I can say other than to give my endless thanks to those who helped us,” she told MalaysiaNow.
“With the assistance we received, we can afford to spend some on kitchen equipment as the children want to eat the yong tau foo that is sold at night markets,” she said, adding that they had been trying to save ever since the MCO was implemented as their household income was also affected.
Zuraida, who was represented by her political secretary Nor Hizwan Ahmad, expressed her desire to provide furniture as well, such as a sofa and table.
But Norilla said while she was grateful for the offer, she had been forced to decline as there was no space for extra furniture in the tiny flat.
“We use the living room as our bedroom as there are so many of us,” she told MalaysiaNow.
Shaifol, 52, used to work at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur but when his salary was slashed by 60%, it became much more difficult for him to provide for his family.
Now, they depend on his monthly income of less than RM1,400.
The money must stretch to cover household essentials for all 16 of them.
Norilla, meanwhile, does her best to help by making kuih and snacks to sell to those in the neighbourhood.