JOHOR BAHRU: For Iman Nurhannah Mohamed Fariq and her grandparents, who’re dwelling in a rented condominium unit in Johor Bahru, this yr’s Hari Raya Puasa won’t really feel proper.
There will likely be no members of the family sitting across the veranda sharing ketupat and lodeh. No hugging and in search of forgiveness from each other. No posing for household images in matching apparel.
Amer Amat and Rahmah Zainolabidin are Singapore residents who’ve been dwelling in Johor Bahru for most of their lives. When the motion management order (MCO) was first declared in March 2020, they determined to keep on as they might not transfer all their belongings in time.
Moreover, Amer, who had simply suffered a stroke, was in no situation to journey.
Iman Nurhannah, 22, was within the first yr of a enterprise and administration course on the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore. She dropped the whole lot and went over to Johor to care for her grandparents.
“I moved over because I was worried how grandma and grandfather will cope. My mother and siblings all had other obligations, and I felt that it was easiest for me to go,” stated Iman Nurhannah when interviewed by CNA.
“I was putting my career and dreams on hold. But I felt (caring for my grandparents) was important too,” she added.
Before the pandemic, she would solely go to throughout the weekends, when she had no courses. Now, she is the pillar of the family.
“I’m thankful for what she has done,” stated Rahmah. “I do know that deep down she needs to go dwelling, however her mom gained’t permit it as a result of she needs her to take care of us,” stated Rahmah.
READ: No ‘festive vibes’: Malaysians brace for another sombre Hari Raya amid nationwide COVID-19 lockdown
CHALLENGES IN HEALTHCARE, EXPENSES AS BORDER STAYS SHUT
The previous 14 months has been a attempting time for the trio.
“We try not to go out if we can help it. Unless it’s for groceries or medicine for grandpa, we don’t leave the house … We are here hanging on, hoping to stay safe and healthy,” stated Iman Nurhannah.
Rahmah recalled the day when her husband was hit by a sudden stroke when he was sleeping at his dwelling in Skudai. “He was taking a nap on his bed and he suddenly fell off the side. He called for me but when I came, he was no longer able to raise his hand or move his limbs. This was later diagnosed as a mild stroke by the general practitioner doctor we visited.”
Amer has remedy as soon as every week. “A physiotherapist would come and work with him. But if we don’t have enough money, we will ask the physio to come once a month instead,” stated Iman Nurhannah.
Rahmah defined that as all three of them weren’t working, they’re dependent on her daughter (Iman Nurhannah’s mom) and a youthful son to assist them. Both are working in Singapore.
“They give us some money to pay our rent and utilities, but we don’t want to overburden them too much,” stated Rahmah.
Ideally, the household would love to return to Singapore. “Once we are in Singapore, we can seek treatment and financial help from the government agencies because we are citizens,” Iman Nurulhannah famous.
While there are authorized provisions for them to return to Singapore through the land checkpoints, they’re unable to afford the ambulance prices wanted to transport Amer throughout the Causeway as properly as quarantine prices for all three of them.
Iman Nurulhannah stated: “For us to head back, it will cost around S$2,000 to charter a private ambulance for us to go across the Causeway. Then there are also quarantine costs.”
“Now with the 21-day quarantine imposed for those coming from Malaysia, it could cost us up to S$3,000 per person. That’s more than S$10,000 for just one trip, we simply cannot afford it.”
Given the prices concerned, they’ve determined to keep put for now. But the state of affairs is difficult by their immigration standing.
Last month, Malaysia stated those that had been holding expired social go to passes and stranded due to the MCO had been required to depart the nation by Apr 21 or danger being penalised.
However, Malaysia’s Immigration Department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud stated foreigners who had been unable to depart the nation by Apr 21 may apply for a special pass to extend their stay.
The three of them have appealed to prolong their social go to passes with Malaysia’s Immigration Department however they’ve been unsuccessful to this point.
“We appealed on the basis of a doctor’s letter saying that my grandfather is not fit to travel, in the hope that the immigration authorities can show some compassion and grant us an extension,” stated Iman Nurulhannah.
“A SAD AND QUIET HARI RAYA”
Rahmah stated for the pageant later this week, the trio would simply “sit at home quietly”.
“Every (Hari) Raya, it’s a tradition for all of us, my siblings and my mother, to come here for our last breaking fast during Ramadan. Then we would welcome Hari Raya together, cook festive food and just celebrate the occasion. But this year, it will be a sad and quiet Hari Raya because it’s just us three.”
She added: “We won’t even cook the usual Hari Raya dishes because it’ll be wasting food. What’s worse, Amer’s condition is such that he can’t even walk and eat solid food, so we are in no mood to be festive.”
Despite the subdued temper, each granddaughter and grandmother stated they’re blessed.
“Hari Raya is about family. The situation this year is far from ideal, but it serves as a reminder to be grateful that the three of us are here together, supporting one another,” stated Rahmah.
Looking forward, Iman Nurulhannah stated that she would favor to return to Singapore to resume her research and work to assist her household financially.
“My plan is to go back to Singapore, work full time and when I have enough, around S$8,000, enrol into a diploma course on food and beverage supervision at the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (SHATEC),” she stated.
“I’m praying that the border reopens so my mother and I can straddle between working and taking care of grandma and grandpa,” she added.