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The confession of a grass cutter

My name is Ali. I am from South Asia. I came to Malaysia x years ago to cari makan. In my country memang susah cari makan even though I have a degree in marketing.

When I first set foot into Kuala Lompoor I worked at the construction site. I have no technical skill so I was given a job to wash away soiled trucks.  I was lucky I befriend someone who helped me to renew my visa every time when the period lapsed. Alhamdoolilah.

With the little money I have saved, I bought myself a brush cutter. I am determined to earn more money by spending my weekend cutting grass than just laze around at home or in shopping complexes. I also bought an old bicycle so that I could move around faster and further to pitch for job.

After a while I managed to secure regular customers who like my service. I have about 12 customers that pay me RM20 for a grass cutting service.  That is the extra income I will get. But I will get more that just that if the customers decided to ask me to clean their toilets. On a good day I will get free breakfast or lunch.

Malaysians are generally very kind and nice people. Anyhow sometimes I was also scolded by some who says I was making so much noise that I woke them from their slumber on Sunday morning. Some will scold me simply because the grass grew so fast especially on rainy days. Not wanting to lose my customer I will obediently listen to them. At least I know that the scolding will only make my pocket full.

Be it sunny or raining, I must ensure my schedule to cut grass for my regular customers is on time. Otherwise my competitors will eat into my market share.

Today I worked fulltime as a grass cutter. I also got a long-term contract to cut grass and wash toilet in a private school. I have better regular income and I now employ two workers also from South Asia. I bought a couple of brush cutters and some utensil for toilet cleaning. I also have to spend on detergents.

My savings is enough for me to marry the daughter of a village head in my kampong but problem is it would be very difficult for me to get her here. I think marriage can wait. I wanted to save more so that I could buy a small piece of land in my kampong and breed goats. But I love this country very much. I wanted to make this country my home. It is so easy to make money here if I am willing to work hard. After all I noticed that many locals do not want to do what I am doing now.  That is an opportunity to me. Thank you.

Grass cutting is never an easy job. People like me cannot hike service fee even though price of petrol rise sky high or materials for cutting grass has increased. I have not revised my fee for the last 5 years when I started this job. I don’t want to complain as grass cutting is a low barrier of entry job. My competitor is just waiting for me to slack. That is why I am reluctant to take a holiday to my kampong. The moment I am away I bet I will lose a few customers. I have seen this happened to some of my colleagues.  To get back to our customers is a difficult job. Not because our customers do not want us, but we will be fighting with each other to regain control of the losing income. I don’t like to fight and that is the reason I don’t take leave.

I am happy today that my grass cutting business has developed. I have more that 30 customers now and two private schools to work on. I have even managed to buy a second hand motor cycle.

Malaysia is my adopted country that I love so much.

That is my confession.

Thank you.

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