LETTERS: I WOULD like to share the kindness of Malaysians shown to me over a dilemma I faced while on the road.
I am the chairman of the organising committee of the forthcoming 1st Africa-Asia Trade Partnership & Exhibition, to be held from Aug 14 to 18, 2023, at the MATRADE Exhibition Convention Centre (MECC), Kuala Lumpur.
The theme of the event is: “Creating Sustainable Wealth Beyond All Limits”. Earlier this week, I had to visit several African embassies to personally send invitation letters to all the African heads of mission.
On my back home while on the highway, my car suddenly slowed down until it finally came to a halt. I managed to park the car by the roadside. Though the engine could start, the car, could not move.
My first point of call was at a car service workshop. The repairman listened to my predicament but said he couldn’t help unless I had the vehicle towed to his workshop for a proper diagnosis.
It occurred to me then that the problem could be that I had run out of petrol as I had earlier contemplated filling up the tank.
I approached another service shop to inquire about the nearest petrol station. The proprietor gave two options, one which was about 600m back while the other was about 1km towards my destination.
Then, I approached another shop owner where I saw some discarded empty trash containers. The fellow was surprised about my request to take the trash but obliged with a smile.
I decided to walk to the nearby petrol station. About 150m before the petrol station, a kind motorcyclist stopped alongside and offered me a lift, having assumed that I might be walking to the petrol station.
I quickly hopped on his motorcycle. At the petrol station, I bought six litres of petrol in two containers. Then, I calmly pleaded with a young man who had just filled his motorcycle to send me to my car. I could see that he was in a hurry to go somewhere, but he nevertheless obliged.
Arriving at the spot where I had parked my car, the vehicle could not be found! I was dumbfounded but explained to my benefactor that I actually left the car there just a few minutes ago to buy fuel.
The kind fellow listened attentively. He asked for the car key. I showed it to him. We were both confused. After describing what the car looked like and its registration number, he asked me to wait awhile as he offered to look around.
He couldn’t find it. He came back and then approached another man who was standing in front of his house. We explained to him but he couldn’t help the situation either.
At that time, I knew that my benefactor was running out of time, so he suggested going to the nearest masjid. I owe him a lot of appreciation for all his assistance and kindness. I wish I could meet him again to convey my gratitude.
Arriving at the masjid while asar prayers was being called, I approached an elderly man and narrated my predicament to him using the little Bahasa Malaysia I could manage. The old man was confused but advised me to go to the toll plaza office, about 600m away to lodge a report.
I decided to walk to the toll plaza office with the two containers and all kinds of thoughts going on in my mind. Then, about 300m away, I spotted my car parked at a bus stop by the roadside. After opening the car, I filled the tank, started the engine and drove home.
No words can express my gratitude to all who had helped me on that day. I will be forever grateful to all those kind souls.
Dr Idris Adewale Ahmed
Senior Lecturer, Biotechnology Department,
Faculty of Applied Science, Lincoln University, Malaysia