I am the coordinator of the Telekung Project which is managed by the resource centre committee of the vocational college where I work. Huh? The common question I get from doubters would go like, “Did you say telekung as in scarves worn by Moslem women for prayers?” and my answer would be in the affirmative. They heard me right. I am quite certain that they would be thinking, “Why on earth is this Chinese lady in-charge of such a project?” or “Is she doing it to gain fame or popularity?”.

Well! Actually it started with a project that I had done for the library for Eid Al Adha in 2015. I was helping a friend who was carrying out this project with her friends in the state of Selangor.

They would collect the used prayer scarves from the suraus (prayer rooms for Moslems) at public places to wash and also repair those that are torn or damaged.. In the meantime they needed spare ones to replace those that they had taken home so that there will always be a fresh supply. She asked for my help to get my friends to contribute new or used scarves for her project.

My team and I managed to collect more than a 100 prayer scarves for them. BUT then an unexpected turn of events happened. The company that my friend and her team was working went aground and they had to temporarily shelf their project. What to do?

My colleagues and I went and distributed our collection to the hospital, supermarkets, petrol stations, departmental stores and other public places that had prayer rooms for their Moslem customers.

A few weeks after that the former director of my college, Puan Hajah Intan Suhana Kamarudin mooted the idea of carrying out the Telekung Project for the suraus at Hospital Seri Manjung. She asked if I would be interested to be in charge.

Hmm … I could easily have said no. It would take a lot of commitment and sacrifice. It entails collecting used telekungs, getting volunteers to wash, iron, repair, fold and pack the clean ones. Then sending them back again. All this would be taking place twice a month. BUT instead I agreed. Why? I had given some thought to it and remembered the times when my late mother was in and out of the hospital for months. My sisters were not in Ipoh and it was only me. A whole gamut of emotions were felt by me each time I was all alone at the hospital.

Of course I sought solace in prayers and that proved to be a balm for my troubled soul. Believe me, I know how it feels like to have a loved one critically ill in hospital; how trying and frightening it could be.

That is what made me decide to helm this project. It is out of a desire to offer solace in prayer for a fellow human, regardless of race or religion.

Of course, I get my colleagues, friends and students to join in this project. After all, as a Third Force volunteer it is my duty to invite people to do good.

“Jom jadi orang baik-baik”.

By Miss Cheah
Third Force Perak


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