I bumped into Mr. Suaidi bin Mhd Parik at a nearby park yesterday. He was clearing leaves with a leaf blower, and after that working with a big-ass vacuum cleaner. Intrigued by the machines, I went up to him and had a little chat.
“Saya rasa amat riang dan lega yang saya diberikan mesin ini dan kerja saya dapat diselesaikan lagi cepat. Dengan masa yang lebih, saya dapat balik rumah lebih awal, kehidupan saya menjadi lagi bagus dan saya boleh menghabiskan lebih masa dalam hobi saya, membaiki dan bertukang basikal.”
(Translation: “With these machines, my work is made so much easier. I finish my work early and go home early to work on my bicycles. So much better, so much faster!” )
Yes, Mr. Suaidi is an avid cyclist. Even at the age of 59, he shares that he cycles twice a month to Kuala Lumpur!
The man had seen some action in his time. Back in the day, Suaidi was a deckhand abroad a ship. He had been a seaman for for over 12 years, sailing between far ends of the globe, between Japan and the Americas.
His 3 daughters are all grown-up (aged between 26 to 30) and he considers himself retired. To pass the time and to make earn a small keep, he works as a cleaner with the Ministry of Environment. He belongs to this team known as the “Quick Response Team”, which is deployed quickly when the Ministry receives complaints and feedback.
I asked Suaidi if he was aware of the Progressive Wage Model…and indeed he has. To start, an increase in salary (from $900 to $1200) was built into his pay. But he was also excited at the possibilities of being promoted up the ranks.
As he gets equipped with skills such as mechanised cleaning, outdoor operations, team operations and group management, he can see his salary being lifted higher and higher.
Suaidi was full of laughs, jokes and came across to me as a very happy person.
I asked him the burning question that needed to be asked: has he collected his CPF money?
He gave a hearty laugh and replied “Habis semua hahaha!” (i’ve finished spending it all! hahaha!)