KULIM, April 21 — Corporal Muhammad Syazwan Ahmad Saifudin was raised by a single mother.
Although it was an average-income family, his mother took care of him after his parents divorced and he understands only too well the hardships that people go through.
So, during this Covid-19 movement control order (MCO) Syazwan decided that he would do his part to help out the needy.
The 34-year-old prepared five packages of essential items such as rice, cooking oil, condensed milk, tea, coffee, sugar, flour and instant noodles, to give those in need while manning roadblocks in Kulim, Kedah.
His goodwill was recently highlighted on social media when he gave the last of the packages to a Pakistani man who was stopped last Saturday evening at about 9pm at a roadblock at the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway Lunas Toll Plaza.
The motorcyclist had lived in Penang for quite some time and after showing Syazwan his identity card, Syazwan began asking him as to where he was headed and told him that he was breaking the MCO.
During the questioning, the man broke down and tearfully told Syazwan that he was heading to Taman Sejahtera in Lunas to borrow some money from a friend to feed his wife and his three children at home who had not eaten in two days.
He had lost his source of income as he had to close down his small business in Penang due to the MCO.
“That’s when it hit me. I myself am also a father to three children and I put myself in his shoes,” Syazwan told Malay Mail.
“He apologised to me and my supervisor and admitted that he knew he was breaking the MCO.”
“I could have him arrested for breaking the MCO but my instinct told me that the man was telling the truth and this man was really in need."
Syazwan then asked for his supervisor's permission to help the man and he went back to the precinct to gather some essential groceries from his car and brought it back for the desperate man.
He also gave the man some monetary assistance.
He added that he had prepared the packages of essential items since the beginning of the MCO.
Syazwan, who is from Ampang and has been serving in Kulim for 13 years, said that it was his intention since the beginning to help out those who are in need especially since the MCO began.
“I meet civilians almost everyday and I always listen to their problems especially those with their own small businesses," he said.
He added that most of them had to endure hardship since the MCO began.
“My intention has always been to help these people with what I can even though it’s not much but at least it can be of help even in the slightest way.
“I’m grateful for everything, even though I don’t have that big of an income but it is still enough for me and my family.”
Meanwhile, Syazwan’s act of kindness has been circulating in social media and while many were inspired by his actions, some still questioned as to why he didn’t just arrest the Pakistani man since he was breaking the MCO.
Syazwan said that while he could have arrested the man, regardless of nationality, he preferred to investigate further to find out what the problem was.
“Police are also normal human beings. I am not Superman, I am not Batman, I have heart and feelings too.”
“Even if it’s a long day, discretion is still crucial when I’m on duty and that is my opinion as a police officer."
Syazwan is a father to three daughters and his wife is also a police officer at Kulim district police headquarters.
After discussing matters with his wife, they have decided to continue helping the needy if they have enough money to do so.