What would you do with RM50?

Last Saturday by sheer mistake and a lot of reluctance on my part, I found myself in the scenery of Pasar Chow Kit. Well, doing marketing in a wet market isn’t the itinerary of my precious weekend. But I got myself a mother in law, you see. A stickler to value for money and fresh produce, Mama must go to Pasar Chow Kit. Off I went with her.

I heaved my feet lazily and trailed Mama’s back. As I was absorbing the hustle bustle of the market, I spotted one lonely figure on a wheel chair begging for a small change from passers by. My heart sank looking at a dire state this man was in. He was paralysed from waist down. His clothes were old and shabby. His kopiah moldy. Traces of white unkempt stubbles were all over his lower face. He must have been at least in his late sixties. If Ayah were to be alive, they would be about the same age.

Mama asked me to give him some money and I obeyed. I emptied the contents of my small change pouch and gave it to him. He said “terima kasih nak.” His expression was a mixture of sadness and gratitude. My heart sank once again.

Mama marched ahead to complete her morning mission and I can’t get the image of that old man out of my mind. I felt guilty for giving him just my small change. I often berate myself for not being grateful enough with what I have. I dig my sling back deeper in search of my wallet – found it. After a trip to Ikano last night, I have only RM50 left. No Maybank sign visible in the vicinity.

I got into thinking, on normal day, how would I spend this RM50? Easy, I thought. My first cup of morning coffee at Strabucks costs me RM10. Lunch with friends deducts another RM30 or so, could be more. The balance of RM10 would go to parking or another cup of latte in the evening. Ingrate! May be today, I will spend it differently.

I told Mama I got something to do and she frowned in suspicion. I left in a hurry to where that old man was. Found him and I bent down by the side of his rickety wheel chair. I asked his name and he told me his name is Ibrahim.

Me: “Pakcik dah makan pagi?”

Him: “Dah, gerai sebelah ni tiap-tiap pagi kasi Pakcik makan. Anak ni sapa?”

Me: “Saya Elviza, tadi tuh ibu mertua dan suami saya. Pakcik tinggal mana?”

Him: “Kat Chow Kit ni jugak. Pakcik tido kat tepi-tepi kedai ni bila mereka tutup. Nak pergi jauh-jauh pun tak boleh.”

At this juncture he looked down at his legs sheepishly. I touched his legs; they were lifeless. I gulped the lump in my throat.

Me: “Pakcik, ni ada duit sikit, Pakcik ambik buat makan ya?”

I slipped the money into his pocket.

Him: “Eh! tak payah nak, duit tadi tuh dah cukup untuk Pakcik makan. Banyak nih! apa kata suami anak nanti?”

Me: “Tak pe, ini duit kami berdua, Pakcik ambik. “ I insisted.

I touched his face and said goodbye. Tears flowed down his wrinkled cheeks and he grabbed my left arm. This is what he said that I am going to remember for as long as I live –

Him: “Berkatlah hidup anak dan ibu bapa  kamu yang membesarkan kamu.”

In my life I have lost many things dear to me. I have made plenty of friends and surely made a number of enemies as well. But one thing, I am sure I haven’t lost is – my compassion. Ayah’s legacy lives in me.

So, tell me friends what would you do with your RM50 today?

*this posting is dedicated to Pi Bani, who works tirelessly for the HIV infected persons*


38 thoughts on “What would you do with RM50?

  1. Cerita Nabi Isa ‘a.s.

    Suatu hari Nabi Isa berjalan di hadapan sebuah rumah yang mengadakan kenduri kahwin. Maklumlah, kenduri. Semua berseronok-suka termasuk yang tak kahwin pun…

    Nabi Isa memberitahu sahabatnya, “Hari ini rumah itu bergembira, esok akan berdukacita”.

    Keesokan harinya, Nabi Isa pelik apabila melihat keluarga tersebut terus berada dalam keadaan gembira. Jelaslah tidak ada bala seperti yang dijangkakannya.

    Jangan salah faham, kadang-kadang Allah hanya memberi separuh maklumat sahaja kepada Rasul-Nya dengan tujuan untuk memberi pengajaran. Jelaslah, manusia tak boleh menjadi Tuhan. Orang putih kata apa? Human cannot play God, kan?

    Kerana merasa sangat pelik, Nabi Isa memohon untuk masuk ke dalam rumah itu. Bukan itu sahaja, Nabi Isa memohon masuk ke dalam bilik pengantin.

    Apabila sampai ke dalam bilik pengantin itu, Nabi Isa menyelak tempat tidur pengantin tersebut. Memang, ada ular pemangsa yang bisa di bawah tempat tidur pengantin tersebut.

    Nabi Isa kehairanan. “Apa yang kamu buat sehingga kamu tidak ditimpa bala? (tidak dimangsakan oleh ular itu)”

    Pengantin menjawab, “Tak ada apa”.

    “Cuba ingat kembali apa yang kamu buat?”

    “Tak ada apa. Kalau ada pun, ada seorang tua datang mengemis semalam. Kami kasihan, lalu kami memberi sedekah kepadanya,” jawab pengantin.

    “Jelaslah. Kamu diselamatkan dari bala kerana sedekah kamu”.

    Moral cerita ini, bersedekahlah untuk mengelakkan bala!

    Kawan saya pernah bertanya kepada saya, “Hang tau kenapa orang Cina kaya?”

    “Pasai depa rajin la. Pasai apa lagi?!”

    “Memang la. Tapi depa kaya pasai depa rajin berderma. Hang tengok, sekolah-sekolah Cina dulu mana ada kerajaan buat. Sekolah-sekolah Cina dulu dibuat dengan derma tauke-teuke dan orang-orang Cina. Kalau hang nak hidup senang, derma”.

    Assalamualaikum Pak Ngah Bakaq,

    Elviza cukup suka kalau Pak Ngah bercerita, lagi bangga if it is done on my blog. Like this story, I never heard it before. I will surely keep this in store to tell Luqman when he can understand. Mudah-mudahan Luqman jadi orang yang berguna

  2. alhamdulillah, may Allah bless your kindness elviza.

    I don’t have much RM50 to spend, but I’d be just elated as you if I can donate RM5 to the needy.

    Yani, it never is about the amount. It has always been about the sincerity. It could have been 5 cents, in the eyes of God, it is all the same. Take care my friend

  3. It’s so hard to let go a RM50 note to the needy but easily can
    spend it over things which is not needed such as piling up clothes
    in the wardrobe.

    I am so TOUCHED!! U’re one of a kind.
    Glad to have a dear fren like u…!

    My old friend Amy,

    And I am touched you even waste your time reading my blog. How did your birthday go? Excellent I hope. And Amy, the pleasure of your friendship is all mine and mine alone…. Kisses from Luqman!

  4. Thanks for the beautiful dedication, Elviza. And that was very kind of you to give him whatever was left in your wallet. May Allah bless you!

    What I did Pi, is so small compared to your selfless devotion. Really hope we can meet someday

  5. Mich,

    Look what you’ve done to me….menangis depan computer dlm office sensorang….wat malu jer!
    It’s true though ain’t it, what you give, you get back..DOUBLE!!
    Reckon still not to late for me to wish you & Luqman a happy belated birthday. Semoga Allah memudahkan urusan hidup kalian dunia akhirat..AMIN.

    Oh En.. you silly woman, dont cry in the office – already people thought you crazy enough. Thanks for the birthday wish. We missed you on Sunday, are you well already? Semoga Allah memudahkan urusan KITA semua dunia akhirat (dosa masa muda banyak weh!!!) 🙂

    My blogging friends, please meet Noren Azman, an important figure in my life. She helped me chattered my unchattered course when we were in England together. Back then in our twenties, of a lot of confusion and definitely a lot of fun too. He he he he… remember Josephine and the song “I dont want to _ _ _ _ _ alone….” Ah memories….

  6. This certainly puts a lump in my throat and it just wouldn’t do for the office to see a grown man shed tears in front of his PC. Bershukurlah that the opportunity to do good was given to you and that you grabbed it. Oh, and I think we all love Pi and its fitting that this is dedicated to her.

    My dear Apandi,

    Oh! I just realised that you are the writer of turn40 blog. Off to click you in a while. Thank you for your kind words. This world could do a lot more with people like Pi…

  7. Salam to elviza.
    Alhamdulillah. We never know which of our ikhlas deeds to others that will save us.The amount of sedekah is immaterial.What matters is the sincerety.
    TQ for the entry.its a reminder to mee too.Dah lama sangat tak bersedekah.

    Salam TA, true true, what matters is the sincerity. Glad to have you back around my blog. Saw your new entry, baru nak baca Luqman ajak main. I ll read it shortly, looks interesting I must say

  8. Hi Pn Elviza,

    Wow…You’re so kind…=)
    You know, my parents thought me to not give money to beggars (I see this pakcik is not one) but to give them things they can use, like buy them a meal or buy them a new outfit…Cos you never know when these people are working for some syndicate, or will get themselves drunk with the money they get…
    But since this pakcik is not a beggar, I *tabib, tabib* you for helping him…
    And yes, Kak Pi is a wonderful woman!

  9. AIYA!

    I didn’t read the line where you said he’s a beggar!!! Sheesh…Ter-skip a line…Maklumlah, sudah tua…Sorry…Tapi still *tabib tabib*…;)

    Oooops, I am a klutz…

    He he he… you so cute lah Daphne! you made my day. The givings can come in many forms, whatever it is. What counts is your heart Sister. Good day ahead of you.

  10. with rm50 can cover petrol to and from my hometown in melaka to pay a visit to my lonely father. you see rm50 as less, but to a lesser people who work on daily basis, after a long day under hot sun,full of sweat, his take home is only rm20, imagine rm50 for them…and small mouths at home waiting for pappa bringing food home for the day…

    Dear Ahm,

    As I said earlier my friend, it never is about the amount. RM50 is a figure, so to speak. It could be RM5 or even 5 cents, what matters is the sincerity. I am not trying to b holier than thou, but just counting my blessing, everyday I count it. At least you still have a father to go home to, some of us dont. I didnt quite see it from your angle as my only parent lives with us. Sorry if this posting somehow is not to your liking. Take care

  11. Alhamdulillah, i know you have that in you!

    Hi E, just trying to be decent human being… good night friend

  12. This is what I call doing Charity with Compassion. Listen with our own ears and see with our own eyes, the ones in need, and give from our heart. Only with compassion, the basic human value, can we make this world a better place to live in.

    May all of you be well peaceful and happy!

    My good friend Yuki! thanks thanks thanks…. arent you invloved with the grand wedding?

  13. *sigh*

    And you changed your image header again.

    You see Shar, only bloggers can do this, changing the topic of the conversation without batting an eye lids. Ha ha ha

  14. Salam Elviza,
    tergenang air mata membaca nukilan tentang pakcik di chow kit tu. saya aminkan doa pakcik tu untuk elviza.
    i wonder whether he had a family. A child, perhaps?
    Makes we wonder why the authority did not help, place him in a home … aiyaaa too many thoughts … sighhh …

    W’salam Izinni,

    🙂 never mind, I always have hordes of different thoughts in my mind sometimes I think I could go insane! Thanks for dropping by…

  15. Oh! I feel a lump in my throat. That was so kind and generous of you.

    Honestly, it is hard for me to give away RM50 to a stranger. I could do a lot with it myself without thinking of the less fortunate, at times. I take my hat off to you for kind gesture, Elviza.
    The only other time when I gave away RM50 without second thoughts was for our cleaning lady in the office where I worked. A single mother of five children, with husband bumming around. One day she asked if she could have RM50 advance from her pay just so she could buy food for the next few days (till pay day). I gave her the amount requested from my wallet without deducting her salary. I felt that RM50 deduction would set her back further for the following month.
    Whenever I went to Little India in Klang, I would pick up a saree or two for her as gifts.
    I guess I find it easier to help someone when I know them personally. Not ideal but I try. 😉

    Jac Dear,

    See, you had done it way before me. It is so typical of us to forget what we have. However, I ll take the hat that you take off for me my friend! LOL

  16. I was a poor student in India many years ago, where after going thru a long line of destitutes waiting outside train stations etc., you will be in a position to plonk down a tin can in front of you yourself!

    While its damn near impossible to completely eradicate poverty in this world, I suppose every little bit helps. So what you did, my dear, was exemplary.

    Dear Captain Ancient Mariner Sir,

    Why dont you write about it. As it is I love all of your stories. Must tell us more. Your wealth of experience must be shared so others could benefit from it!

  17. Sis,

    Sorry to make you hit the sack a bit late yesterday. Sekali sekala nice chatting wef you.

    Great entry sis…… tat’s why you must keep on blogging.



    The pleasure was all mine. Oh yeah I must keep blogging? Ha ha ha ha… insyallah…

  18. Salam Elviza:
    Here’s the extract of my new entry today.I put that entry after reading yours.I kept the hadith for almost a week and after reading you entry I know I have to put it for today.
    These are guarentees from Rasulullah s.a.w. for those who helped others sincerely( and with iman). Have a nice weekend with jeff and Luqman zain.

    Dari Abu Hurairah r.a. dari Nabi s.a.w. sabdanya: “Barangsiapa yang
    melapangkan suatu kesusahan dari beberapa kesusahan seseorang Mu’min
    di dunia, maka Allah akan melapangkan untuknya suatu kesusahan dari
    berbagai kesusahannya pada hari kiamat.”

    “Barangsiapa yang memberikan kemudahan kepada seseorang yang
    kesukaran,maka ALLAH akan memberikan kemudahan padanya di dunia dan
    di akhirat

    My dearest friend TA,

    amin amin amin…. lapang lah segala kesusahan kami…

  19. This happened a long time ago. There was this very old beggar walking around the tables of a restaurant. He came over to my table and I almost sprayed out the contents of my mouth when I heard his tag-line. Some would just look at you with a pitydul look. Some would say, ‘tolong encik’ or ‘tolong nak’ or ‘tolong saya orang susah’ but this old man went ‘tolong encik, saya amak tadak bapak tadak’. Remember, he’s a very old man.

    Hey, maybe he didnt get married and have family on his own… he he he

  20. I am so proud to be reading this entry. Surely RM50 means a lot to Pak Cik Ibrahim. I wish you well too dear friend.

    (i’ve just noticed that i didn’t hit the enter button yesterday – friends came over when I was reading your blog. psst; what happened to the previous template?)

    K’ron dear, i tried emailing you Luke’s bday photo but it didnt get through. Apparently, the email is too heavy. Will try again later today. As for the previous template, typical of me, I changed and changed and changed, then I stick to the old one. Didnt do well with changes my friend! Kisses for Sarah & Amar

  21. I pun amin kan doa pakcik tu…you are definitely a lady with a BIG heart tooo…sejuknya perut ibu Elviza… proud to be your friend…

    Amin amin amin….bila kita nak jumpa nih ya?

  22. Yes Elv, a powerful entry. You ARE my sis-in-arms!

    And great writing too!

    Remember all the poor, the down-trodden stuff you hear? You not only REMEMBER, but actually did something … Good for Doc TA too, always ready to unleash a ready hadith . . . 🙂

    My brother F, good to hear from you all the way from the rig. Take care and dont forget the mothers day

  23. Thanks Sis for such a powerful entry. It always makes me wonder, where on earth are all the politician. It is not so many of Pak Cik, Mak Cik, Adik and Kakak that really needs such a heart. Seriously, compare with those who can afford latte or a jug anywhere, it is only handful of those who really needing the help.

    Instead of thinking seriously of mat Rempit, and their expeditions, why not those fund generate some sort of lifeline for those who do not have future to choose.

    Thinking of how some of us can wallop the PPRT fund make me wanna be a serial killer.

    oh god.


    My guess? they are busy calling names and making a mockery out of themselves in the parliament.

  24. You are there sis….. Am glad that i come across to your blog and share your tots. thanks to sheih coz i would not come across your blog if not for him. peace…

    Hi Mama Luqman, from another Mommy Luqman 🙂

  25. My type of Malaysian.Faceless, selfless. THAT’S YOU GIRL. Not the showy political types. Big deal donating somebody’s money, aptly attired with huge flower garden on chest….TV lights and then press conference….not their own money you know but they take all the credit, and then their heads leak in parliament. Will be doing a piece on minimum wage soon. Ciao.

    Oh Zorro, you are too generous with praises! Am waiting for the post on minimun wage – an issue long overdue

  26. amin untuk doa pakcik ibrahim.
    i don’t really care about the amount, but the way you touched him, talked to him, showed ur compassion, it so touching, really shed my tears.

    Dear El,

    terima kaseh for your amin… true, the amount is immaterial. It is just a figure, so to speak. Compassion is something I try to have everyday. Sorry to have made you shed tears!

  27. This en3 really brought tears to my eyes…
    I also read Pi Bani’s blog from time to time. How I wish I could volunteer……

    Dear Junita, in my eyes people like Pi are heroes. In its true literal sense

  28. Elviza,
    Rezeki comes from Allah…
    “The more we give the more we get….”
    I hope I make sense here…. May Allah bless you.

    Thank you my friend….

  29. nice posting, nice elviza.
    just wanna share, i saw some young ppl giving food for free on sunday around bukit nenas. lot of pakcik ibrahim there too.
    still cant understand why we can build the tallest towers but yet to care of those pakcik ibrahims.

    Dear Arif (what a nice name!),

    As aptly put by Ancient Mariner, it’s impossible to completely eradicate poverty. But a helping hand from time to time would make all the difference my friend.

  30. That was very nice of you. I read your entry with a lump in my throat.

    Dear QOTH,

    Sorry I put the lump in your throat…. thanks for dropping by

  31. Well,
    That’s Mich, who Kak Long and I have the privilege to befriend with. She’s all eloquent and at times loud too, but the Mich, whom we shared many tearful nites and laughed many gaily days with, always surface when we least expected. For this and for all that you’ve done so selflessly to others, makes us really proud to tell others “We have a friend, we call her Mich, and she’s so dear to us, and we love her deeply”.
    And we love you Mich… unconditionally.
    Kak Long & I

    Dearest Kak Long & I,

    Why are making me all emotional with your comment? Sedey lah baca…. and I am loud? Is it? Damn, I thought I am all graceful and lembah lembut like KakLong! Hahahahaha (fat chance)! I love you two too, you know that. There is nothing you two won’t do for me, I know that. See ya Saturday at Aiman’s birthday (and the excited new parents Nurul & Kopen).

    I must say, I was rather impressed to see Kopen at all kiddies bday parties lately. Totally unexpected but pleasant surprise of course. He has turned out to be a doting father! Never thought I live to see the day… hahahaha! (I hope he doesn’t read this!)

  32. Salam Elviza,
    Clicked this link from someone’s blog (Jelas.info kalau tak silap). Your article “What would you do with RM50?” attracted me to read further.
    Proud with what you did with your RM50! Kata orang-orang ‘alim, satu kebaikan akan diberi ganjaran 10 kali ganda.
    Pernah juga dengar tentang Saidina Ali yang memberi sedekah sebiji kurma kepada seorang fakir. Beberapa hari selepas itu baginda didatangi seorang lelaki yang membawa 9 biji buah kurma yang dihadiahkan seseorang kepada baginda. Baginda bertanya ” Mana Perginya sebiji lagi kurma yang dikirimkan? ” Lelaki itu terkejut lalu menyatakan beliau telah memakannya sebiji. Kehairanan lelaki itu bertanya bagaimana Saidina Ali tahu tentang kekurangan buah kurma itu…
    Remember, 1 kebaikan diberi ganjaran 10 kali ganda oleh Allah SWT.
    Memetik cerita Pak Ngah Bakaq kat atas:
    “Kawan saya pernah bertanya kepada saya, “Hang tau kenapa orang Cina kaya?”
    “Pasai depa rajin la. Pasai apa lagi?!”
    “Memang la. Tapi depa kaya pasai depa rajin berderma. Hang tengok, sekolah-sekolah Cina dulu mana ada kerajaan buat. Sekolah-sekolah Cina dulu dibuat dengan derma tauke-tauke dan orang-orang Cina. Kalau hang nak hidup senang, derma”.
    Setuju dengan Pak Ngah Bakaq.
    “What would you do with RM50?”
    Elviza, I’m going to forward your link to friends and contacts. Bolehkan?
    Sambil mengaminkan doa Pakcik Ibrahim, teringatkan anak-anak kat rumah and terbayang mereka berkata ” One thing, I am sure I haven’t lost is – my compassion. Ayah’s legacy lives in me !”
    Thanks Elviza!

    Dearest Cikgu Zul,

    Terima kasih. Saya hanya cuba mengingatkan diri sendiri dan kawan2 yang mahu diingatkan. Insyallah, your children will say the same thing about you… 🙂

  33. Dear Elvina…

    I am a friend of Noren Azman…during A-level days at MSMKL. Have been trying to get in touch with her. I really hope you could help me reach her. Really miss her…

    Thank you.


    Hi.. I chuckled reading my name above written as “Elvina”. It’s my sister’s name… ha ha ha! I have emailed you Noren’s email. Hope you two get in touch soon.

  34. Mich…this particular blog touches me so deep i started to get tears in my eyes when i read it. Besides that your blogs keep me occupied while im far away working in no man’s land (though its water all around where i work!!) . Thanks for the good read..waiting for your next one…bila lagi?!!

    Dear Judge,

    Eh, awak nih keretapi lambat lah! Ini post tahum lepas beb. Ah, better late than never isnt it? Tak pe lah water all around you, don’t you know that water has an immense calming effect? Next one, bila idea strikes, which sometimes, can be a bit tricky I must say. Take care my friend. We see you soon when you are home.

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