KUALA LUMPUR – He may be blind but car wash worker Muhammed Rosli Asamari (picture) is winning customers over with his expertise in washing and polishing car tyres and rims.
Recently, one of his satisfied customers took a video of him at work and it has since gone viral on social media and received over 171,000 views, with netizens singing praises of the 29-year-old worker, as well as his employer for hiring him despite his disability.
He has been working at Mie Car Wash & Services at Taman Samudera in Gombak, Selangor, for the last 10 years and he carries out the tasks assigned to him as competently as his able-bodied co-workers.
Muhammed Rosli told Bernama that before his current employer hired him, it was hard for him to get a job even though the rest of his body was normal.
“My limbs and other sense organs are normal but they (prospective employers) kept rejecting me because I was blind,” he said.
Muhammed Rosli was born with his left eye blind and limited vision in the other eye. However, two years ago his right eye became completely blind as well.
Not wanting to be a burden to his parents – Maina Sayadi, 62, and Asamari Sainal, 69 – he got his first job, also at a car wash, more than a decade ago but resigned a few months later after he found out that one of the employees there was using his name to borrow money from their employer.
“I was getting paid only RM200 or RM300 a month as my boss was deducting the amount that I supposedly borrowed from him. I found it so frustrating… I worked so hard and look what happened,” he said.
Eventually, with the help of his mother, Muhammed Rosli got to meet his current employer who, he said, was open to hiring persons with disabilities (PWD).
Admitting that it took him a while to pick up the necessary skills to perform his duties well at the car wash, he said his employer and colleagues were helpful, which made it easier for him to learn the ropes.
“In the beginning, I used my hands to feel the part of the tyre and rim that need to be polished. It took me about two to three years before I familiarised myself with this work. As time passed, I became more adept at my job. My friends also help me by checking my work and making any rectification if I make a mistake,” he said, adding that his employer gave him the space and time to learn and master the necessary skills.
Commenting on the video clip that went viral recently, Muhammed Rosli said while he appreciated the words of encouragement and support from netizens, he, however, “don’t think about such things, I just think about work. I’m happy just to be able to hand over some money to my parents and help to ease their financial burden as they are getting older”.
PROVIDE JOB OPPORTUNITIES TO THE DISABLED
Meanwhile, Mie Car Wash & Services owner Suhaimi Abdullah, 50, said special people like Muhammed Rosli deserve to be given job opportunities to enable them to make a living.
“He’s not my first disabled worker, previously I also had an Indian worker whose legs were disabled,” he said, adding that disabled employees need to be given enough time to learn the skills they would need to possess to do their work properly.
“I gave Muhammed Rosli all the time he needed to learn to clean and polish the tyres of our customers’ vehicles. This is something all employers must understand… if they (PWD) are not given the opportunity (to work), then they will continue to be considered as unfit to work.”
Suhaimi added that Muhammed Rosli’s sincerity and diligence at work has inspired him to be more receptive to hiring other disabled workers in the future.
OKU Sentral Association president Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi, meanwhile, hoped that employers, both in the public and private sectors, would continue providing disabled-friendly infrastructure at their premises, as well as job opportunities to the PWD community.
“Give us the opportunity to be independent and contribute to the nation’s economy… we work 100 to 200 times harder than normal people because we have a great fighting spirit and are hard-working. However, we need to be given the opportunity. Our capabilities will only be known if we are given the chance to work,” she said.
Ras Adiba, who is Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman, said World Health Organisation statistics estimate that 15 percent of a nation’s population consists of PWD. Based on this estimate, Malaysia has over 4.9 million PWD but only 600,000 of them are registered with the Social Welfare Department.
She also said that the department offers Disability Equality Training courses, aimed at raising awareness about people with disabilities, that are open to both PWD and non-PWD participants.
“Actually we are not the ones who are disabled, rather the ‘disability’ lies with the perceptions and stigma of society and the facilities around us.
“For example, a friend of mine who is blind went missing for a few days after he fell into a hole that emerged overnight on a route that he normally uses. I also have disabled friends who are bullied by their colleagues. One of them is a little person (midget) who used to ask a colleague to withdraw money (from the ATM) on his behalf. But the colleague pocketed the money and told my friend there was no money in the ATM.”