KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 ― It took just two days to raise the RM10,000 needed to buy a Pahang teacher a dirt bike so he can reach his Orang Asli students.
Hazim Nordin, 39, who launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise the money had hoped to raise the money within a month.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all. I was expecting a month,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.
Hazim said he started the campaign after reading a news report on the teacher Ahmad Saidin Mohd Idris — who travels for hours daily — to reach the SK Lenjang school in Lipis, Pahang where 456 students from 17 Orang Asli settlements study.
Ahmad Saidin received widespread attention when the story of his daily travels of two hours over 135km of uneven hilly roads just to reach the rural school was highlighted by New Straits Times.
Hazim said he was surprised and glad that the campaign — his first crowdfunding initiative — has shown Malaysians to be a generous lot.
He said the single highest contribution was US$450 and came from a Malaysian based in the Middle East.
He added that non-citizens also contributed and gave as example, a British expatriate working as a teacher in Malaysia who contributed US$50.
He said he is currently working to wire the collected funds to Ahmad Saidin’s bank account electronically and expects it will take about two weeks.
“I just got his CIMB bank account details yesterday,” said Hazim who works as technical director of a Cyberjaya-based company.
He added that he and several friends will also be helping the teacher find the best deals for his dirt motorcycle soonest possible.
“We’re just going to advise him on how to get the scrambler and are finding the best deals,” Hazim said, adding that Ahmad Saidin had wanted the funds to be spent fully on the Orang Asli school.
He said he is planning to meet the teacher in person and expects to be able to do so next month.
He also promised to keep the public informed of how their donations have been spent through the media, though he stressed that he started the crowdfunding campaign not to gain publicity.
* Editor's note: An earlier version misstated some of the contribution in ringgit instead of in US dollars. It has since been amended to reflect the correct currency.