Orang Asli students travel 200km to celebrate Pahang teacher’s Indian wedding

Samuel Isaiah and his wife on their wedding day with his Orang Asli students in 2017. — Picture from Twitter/Samuel Isaiah
Samuel Isaiah and his wife on their wedding day with his Orang Asli students in 2017. — Picture from Twitter/Samuel Isaiah

PETALING JAYA, July 23 — For most people, their weddings would be a memorable life event.

It was no different for Samuel Isaiah, a teacher at SK Runchang, Muadzam Shah, Pahang.

But unlike most weddings, some of the English teacher’s most important guests were his Orang Asli students.

In a throwback post, the Kuantan-born educator took to Twitter to share his wedding photographs from 2017 and the heartwarming story of transporting 100 of his indigenous students to see him tie the knot.

 

 

“Even before getting married, my wife knew that my orang asli children were a big part of life.

“I thank God that she accepted me and my huge baggage of hundreds of children,” wrote in the thread.

Samuel added that his indigenous students were most excited when he announced the happy news.

 

 

At first, Samuel was worried if the students’ parents would be okay with it and there was also the transportation cost to factor in.

The beloved teacher’s good intentions paid off in the end thanks to a discount from RM1,000 to RM700 made possible by a colleague after more children said they were keen to attend his wedding.

Clad in their traditional attire, the Orang Asli children even surprised the newlyweds with a performance.

 

 

“Of course, my children then stole the show, as I was beaming with pride. The performance by the children was powerful, moving and brought guests to have a glimpse of how amazing my children are,” Samuel wrote.

 

 

In May, Samuel was one of 16 recipients of the Ministry of Education’s Superhero Teachers award in conjunction with Teachers’ Day.

According to previous reports, Samuel has been teaching English since 2012.

Through previous Twitter posts, Samuel can be seen teaching Orang Asli children outdoor to honour his students’ affinity with nature.

 

 

According to non-governmental organisation Suka Society, indigenous communities in Malaysia have little access to education and in Peninsular Malaysia, with some 7,029 indigenous children having never been to school.

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