Melaka trishaw rider trying his best to make a living amid MCO

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

MELAKA – Trishaw rider Mohd Shah Abdullah, 36, has been at his workshop at Jalan Plaza Mahkota here as early as 8am, to complete modification on trishaws requested by his fellow riders.

Just like the rest of us, Mohd Shah has no idea when the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be lifted after being re-implemented on Jan 13, but the father of four knows that he must continue to earn an income despite the government’s directives to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Undoubtedly, tourism sector will take a long time to recover but for Mohd Shah, who has four children, aged four to 22, life must go on by doing various jobs to feed his family.

“Although I got three trishaw units from friends to modify during the first week of the implementation of this MCO, I did not set any prices.

“I understand many have been adversely affected by the MCO. Hence, I don’t set a price for friends who come here to modify their rickshaws, it is up to them how much they want to pay,” he said when met by Bernama at his workshop here today.

Mohd Shah, who has been a trishaw rider for the past 10 years, said the cost to modify a trishaw can reach up to RM9,000 as it uses various accessories such as flowers, figurines and speakers to attract tourists.

He said currently characters such as Spiderman, Hello Kitty and from the movie Frozen are very popular among tourists, especially parents who want to entertain their children.

“Decorative items such as figurines are usually bought in Ayer Hitam, Johor as they are cheaper there while other materials such as rattan to make the frame and flowers are usually bought from suppliers from Melaka.

“Currently I am modifying trishaws requested by friends who have bought the decorative items before MCO started,” he said.

He said although his livelihood was affected with the implementation of MCO since last year, he refused to give up.

“As we can’t ride a trishaw as normal since MCO, now I am a food delivery rider. Perhaps, the income is not as much but is still enough to feed my family.

“I just hope that the government can help us as with similar assistance given to our friends in tourism industry under the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI).

“For trishaw riders who managed to land another job during MCO, then perhaps we can still survive but what about those who have yet to land a job until now,” he said.