I got a text message this morning from Fuzi, informing me that her son Ijam, was scheduled to be circumcised at the Pusat Rawatan Harian in Ipoh. Fuzi asked if I could help send them home later. It wouldn’t be suitable for her to take Ijam on a public bus after the circumcision, and getting a cab would be too expensive for her. Fuzi had told me earlier last month about this and I told her to remind me earlier to the date to ensure that I had no other appointments.
Fuzi had to arrange for Ijam’s circumcision to be done at the hospital due to his HIV status. Her kampong-folks did ask earlier during the last school holidays if Ijam would like to join the other kids in the kampong to have their circumcision done on the same day during a specially arranged programme. However, due to Ijam’s HIV status (which nobody else knew other than Fuzi and her children), Fuzi came up with all sorts of excuses not to have Ijam join the other kids for the programme.
Instead Fuzi sought the help of the paediatrician Ijam sees regularly to arrange for the circumcision to be done at the hospital. It was supposed to have been done during the last school holidays, but Ijam was knocked down by a motorbike near his house, broke an arm and so Fuzi decided to postpone it. Until today.
The moment I drove in front of the main entrance of the Pusat Rawatan Harian, I saw Ijam, in his kain pelikat, and his younger brother Iwan. Both immediately got into my car. “Mak mana?” I asked. “Mak pergi tandas,” answered the younger brother. After a few minutes, Fuzi came out of the building and headed straight into my car.
It took about half an hour drive from the hospital to get them home. During that half hour, with Fuzi talking almost non-stop, I got quite a number of updates about her children.
Her eldest daughter, who registered at a matriculation college just recently, apparently had offers from 2 other institutions as well. But the girl decided to stick to matriculation. Her matriculation course after all is only 1 year (apparently this is only for the brighter students, the average students need to go through 2 years matriculation). This girl, with 7A 2B won the top SPM student award at her school recently.
Fuzi’s second daughter, who never did well in her studies before this, (she had a variety of B’s, C’s and D’s in her PMR) also received a prize from her school for getting 2nd in her class during her school exams last year. The girl will be sitting for her SPM this year, and although I don’t really expect her to beat her sister’s results, I am happy with the progress she’s making.
Fuzi’s 3rd child, the first boy, who will be sitting for his PMR this year, is a different story altogether. Always getting into trouble, especially in school. Already disciplinary actions had to be taken against him in school – once for getting caught smoking in the toilet, once for playing truant, once for kicking one of the girls in school, for whatever reason. But lately, the boy has been keeping himself busy with sports, particularly takraw, and during the school holidays, he also helps out to wash the dishes etc with a catering service, to earn some pocket money for himself. I hope by getting himself involved in sports and a part time job, the boy will learn to be a more responsible person.
Fuzi’s 4th child, that’s Ijam, the HIV+ boy who was finally circumcised today.
Fuzi’s last child, born without a father (Fuzi claimed to have been raped by an intruder) is supposed to be in standard one this year, but with Fuzi still not obtaining her PR status, the boy’s status is affected as well. If Fuzi is a PR, the boy could at least register at a government school as a foreign student. But without the PR status, the boy has been unable to register at any government schools. But he does go to a nearby Sekolah Agama Rakyat which does not require him or his mother to be a citizen or a PR.
Fuzi’s earlier application for PR was rejected. She has submitted an appeal. I hope she can get that sorted out soon so that her youngest son can go to school.