A 68-year-old Singaporean, a sole breadwinner who raised 13 children from two marriages, is still juggling two jobs working as a cleaner for Nee Soon Town Council and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH)
The elderly cleaner, Jumaat bin Soori, has been cleaning the Yishun neighbourhood for the past eighteen years and has been with KTPH for about nine years, since the hospital opened in 2010. His story began trending on social media when one of his sons, 31-year-old Sahri Jumaat, paid a tribute to him on Facebook.
Sharing photos of his father hard at work, Sahri wrote: “Many of us have role models in our lives and to most people role models are athletes, movie stars, motivational speakers etc. But to me a role model is much more…A perfect role model for me is my dad.
“My dad is a father who supports the children even when he has no money and being his son is like having a permanent armor for the rest of my life. He will do whatever it takes as long as he gets his responsibilities done. He don’t tell me how to live but show me how he lives the life instead.
“The way he overcomes life has taught me that no matter how hard things are, you have to keep going. No matter how little your salary and how hard your job is, for as long as it is right, you just have to get it done.”
In an interview with Coconuts, Sahri said that his father works the night shift at KTPH and goes on to clean the Yishun neighbourhood after his shift at the hospital ends around 7am. He shared: “The children want him to rest and his management (has) advised him to take leave, but he (doesn’t) want.”
Sahri helps his father clean up Yishun, their neighbourhood, about thrice a week when he is free. He said: “Whenever I am free, I (will) wait for him. If there (is) quite a lot of stuff to clear, I will help.”
Sahri, a self-confessed former delinquent who now mentors ex-convicts, said that his younger brother used to help their father before he recently went to jail.
Declining to share details on his brother’s imprisonment, Sahri said: “My younger brother would always drop by and help my dad. He misses my younger brother because he was just recently sent to prison.”
Expressing his gratitude to his father for the sacrifices he has made for his family, Sahri told the publication: “How he manages it, how he kept his love for his children, it’s so priceless.”