KUCHING, May 24: Shamsudin Ibrahim, 37, lost his right leg after being electrocuted while on maintenance duty in Betong, Sarawak during the fasting month in 2010.
“At the time of incident, I was carrying out electrical maintenance work near overhead power lines when a bolt of electricity struck me,” the former technician with a local utility company related the experience.
Shamsuddin said the work commenced after power supply to the area was disconnected.
“I have no idea where the electricity came from. I happened to be standing near a puddle of water and a utility pole. When the electricity entered my body, I passed out. My colleagues rushed me to the hospital.
“I thought I was going to die, but miraculously I survived. The doctor had to amputate my right leg up to my thigh because the injury was very serious,” he said.
Shamsuddin spent two months in hospital.
“I was traumatised by the incident. The trauma lasted more than a year. I was distressed and scared to go out or meet people. I didn’t even dare touch the light switches at home.”
But with support and encouragement from his family and friends, he slowly recovered. And in 2012, Shamsuddin received his artificial leg – a titanium prosthetic leg.
“I was excited about my artificial leg. Slowly, I regained my confidence to live my life normally.”
About four years ago, he opened a barbershop at Kampung Hulu, Sri Aman with assistance from Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) under the Welfare Micro Entrepreneurs (UMK) programme.
He earned a decent income from his business.
“I have always been interested in doing hair styling since I was young.”
However, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Sarawak, his business was badly affected.
“Before the pandemic, I could easily earn at least between RM2,800 and RM3,000 per month. But now, my income has dwindled to less than RM1,000 per month,” he said.
Meanwhile, single mother Nur Suhana Voon Abdullah, 40, who operates a small food stall in Sri Aman is also finding it very hard to earn a living during the pandemic.
“I run a small food stall at Srijaya Foodcourt in Sri Aman. Before the pandemic, I made at least RM300 per month. I work from 8am to 5pm every day. Sales is slow since the pandemic hit but I need to keep the busines running to support my family,” she said.
Nur Suhana has three children to support after her divorce two years ago. Her eldest daughter, Nur Fazlyanna Wan Fauzeli, 14, is a bright student and was selected to pursue her studies at Sekolah Menengah Sains Muar in Johor.
“I don’t have enough money to support my daughter’s school expenses in Johor. Fortunately, my sister, Gloria anak Naya, 63, who lives in Muar, is helping to look after her there. I am so grateful to her,” she said.
Nur Suhana’s other children are Wan Syairul Iman Wan Fauzeli, 10, and Wan Fazrell Adam Wan Fauzeli, 6.
Shamsudin and Nur Suhana were amongst the recipients of the Yayasan Petronas Sentuhan Kasih festive programme held in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year.
Sentuhan Kasih Festive is a yearly programme that coincides with key festive seasons. It aims to spread joy and improve the quality of life for the underprivileged community.
The programme is part of Yayasan Petronas’ community well-being and development focus area and is also in line with the Petronas Sustainability Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Under this programme, Petronas in collaboration with the Welfare Department recently distributed food essentials, including rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, eggs, flour, condensed milk, sardines, cream crackers, glutinous rice, face mask and hygiene kits to some 250 families in Sri Aman.
“I am very thankful to Yayasan Petronas for their kind contributions. It helps a lot in easing our burdens, especially during these trying times,” Shamsudin said. — Dayakdaily