I’m A 47yo Disabled Man Who Travels 1km Daily In A Wheelchair To Sell Nasi Lemak To Afford My Next Meal

We have everything but never grateful, he has nothing but is very grateful.
Hustling on a daily basis, we often overlook the blessings that surround us: the roof over our heads, the food on the table, holding a steady job, and enjoying the warmth of family.

Mohd Nor Bin Dini, a Malaysian residing in Setapak Jaya, has been disabled for half of his life and says he is happy despite the challenges he faces all by himself with no one by his side.

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Mohd selling nasi lemak near nu sentral entrance
Photo by WeirdKaya

‘It is what it is’

When Mohd was just one years old, a high fever swept throughout his small body, forever altering the course of his life. Little did he know that this seemingly innocuous illness would serve as the catalyst for a series of profound challenges that lay ahead.

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His already dire situation was compounded further when doctors told him he would gradually lose control of his legs and hands, a crushing symptom that became a reality as years passed and casted a shadow over his once carefree childhood.

By the time Mohd turned 20, he found himself completely losing sensation in his legs and fingers.

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Customer buying mohd's nasi lemak
Photo by WeirdKaya

Reflecting on this journey filled with hardships and uncertainties, Mohd’s face softened into a smile as he recalled the moment he realised he had lost the use of his legs.

It is what it is. I may be weak physically, but mentally I am very strong. God can test me as much as He wants. I will still stand strong.

This same spirit was also the fuel in his belly to prevent succumbing to bitterness or self-pity and instead meet each obstacle with a smile on his face.

Mohd in a wheelchair selling nasi lemak
Photo by WeirdKaya

Selling nasi lemak from a wheelchair

For Mohd, he could not enjoy life’s many comforts and most often take for granted often such as earning a degree, marrying, or having a job due to his disability.

He added that he tried to pick up the skill of sewing clothes as he didn’t want to let his disability stop him. Unfortunately, he dropped it entirely after taking a course for two years as he discovered he couldn’t pursue a career in it.

Mohd later moved to KL and helped his best friend sell nasi lemak at NU Sentral. After his friend’s passing, he took over the business and has been running it for the past seven years.

Mohd arranging money on the table
Photo by WeirdKaya

“My daily routine consists of waking up at 4.30am and working from 7.30am until 12pm before returning home to rest for the remainder of the day.

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“I earn between RM70 to RM90 daily, which is just enough to cover my meals and save up for the future,” he said.

Lonely but happy

As a 47-year-old man, Mohd admits that his heart aches whenever it dawns upon him that he’s not able to live the same kind of life as non-disabled individuals. Furthermore, he has no parents, siblings, or life partner to journey alongside him.

But, he chooses to be grateful for the fact that he’s alive, has a place to stay, and earns an honest living.

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Yes, I am only human. It hurts me that I couldn’t have a normal life, but I am happy. I live my life in peace and that is something valuable to me.

Mohd selling nasi lemak to customers in a wheelchair
Photo by WeirdKaya

More to be done for the disabled

Mohd believes that Malaysia needs to put more effort in helping out the disabled community and make their lives easier instead of making them feel hesitant to reach out for help.

They do help, but not a lot. There are disabled people who go through hell, hiding from the police and being helpless. The government does help us but it’s minimal.

He also added that the thing he struggles with the most is commuting to work, where he has to use his wheelchair to travel 1 km to reach the bus stop and wait for one to come.

But when one does arrive, he often finds himself stranded as the drivers are too lazy to help him board the bus.

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“Pretty privilege does exist. If I was a pretty girl, they would stop to fetch me, wouldn’t they? It’s quite apparent that people do judge based on appearances,” he quipped.

Nu sentral entrance
Photo by WeirdKaya

Despite these setbacks, Mohd continues to wear a wide smile on his face as he wakes up before sunrise and wheels himself to NU Sentral to spend another day selling nasi lemak to passing travellers.

If you wish to help Mohd, you may check out his stall at NU Sentral’s entrance or contact him at +6011-35695813 to offer help.


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