KUCHING, July 24: Assistance and support have been pouring in after a Twitter thread detailing the plight of a teenage girl who is studying at home to prepare for the SPM exam went viral on social media.
The 17-year-old girl even set up a timetable to study by herself in a rented room, because her father could not afford petrol to send her to school.
“She tried to walk to school, but it was just too far from their place,” according to a tweet by social worker Asfaridah Umar who uses the Twitter handle @asfanafiey94.
In a number of tweets posted on https://twitter.com/asfanafiey94/status/1152514936309866496 on July 20, the social worker had posted photos of the girl and her family, and asking netizens to share it so their plight can be highlighted. Education Minister Maszlee Malik (@maszlee) , Prime Minister Tun Mahathir (@chedetofficial) and Youths and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) were also tagged but there hasn’t been any response so far.
The bank account number for the girl’s father has been shared in the thread which had been retweeted more than 15,000 times. Many people had replied by offering financial assistance, sponsoring stationery and offering free math and science tuition to help the girl to prepare for SPM.
The girl’s father, Mohd Fadillah Idris, 45, was reportedly making more than RM10,000 salary a month as an offshore engineer. However, everything changed ten years ago when he returned home one day to discover his wife had passed away.
Since then, he quit his offshore job to take care of his three children, especially his youngest son who is visually impaired.
He works as a mechanic nearby in order to look after his children. They live in a rented room at Taman Puteri together with two other families. It is learnt that they had been asked to vacate the place in August as the owner was planning to tear down the house.
Fadillah’s handphone number and address were also listed but DayakDaily failed to reach him on the phone.
The teenage girl is reportedly doing very well academically and her room is filled with revision notes and a study timetable. When she had the chance to attend school previously, her classmates and her teachers didn’t believe her problems. They then later found out it was really the truth and apologised to her.
“She’s a smart kid. Her exam results were good. Every morning she studies with whatever books she has, even though she hasn’t gone to school in a while,” the social worker Asfaridah said. She also previously bought the children meals as they only had warm water to drink to fill their stomachs. — DayakDaily