“May I send well-wishes to my wife and children?” he asked.
Due to the circuit breaker measures, Hari Raya this year will be a quiet one for many families. But it will be quieter still for Mohammad Fajry Mozeriin Putra, 44.
“What I want to say to them is, ‘Selamat Hari Raya. Forgive me for not being able to come home to you this year. It’s not that I don’t want to, but it’s because I cannot. I hope you understand,’” he said.
His wife and three kids live in Indonesia, while he works in Singapore. And there is no way the sole breadwinner of the family can travel to see them on the first day of Hari Raya this year. The last time the family was together was in December 2019.
“Usually I will take leave during this time of the year and spend Hari Raya with my family in Bandung. But because of the COVID-19 outbreak, I can’t do that,” explained Fajry.
An Essential Worker
As a store team leader at NTUC FairPrice, Fajry is an essential worker. He joined FairPrice as a part-time staff after completing his National Service in 1998.
For 22 years, he has been keeping our supermarket shelves stocked with supplies, taking care of our essential needs.
When the COVID-19 outbreak and the panic buying started, Fajry and his colleagues took the situation in their stride and worked tirelessly together to keep up with the demand.
“The situation now is nothing like we’ve ever seen before. During SARS in 2003, we did have customers coming to the store to stock up on essentials, but it wasn’t as many as what we’ve see during this COVID-19 period,” said Fajry.
Fajry also hopes Singaporeans will be more understanding towards frontline workers.
“I hope they can be patient with us. We are doing our very best to serve our customers well despite the situation,” he said.
Today, other than his regular duties, Fajry helps with the temperature taking of shoppers.
His FairPrice colleagues have also given him the support he needs during this time.
“I hope I will continue working in FairPrice in the long-run. The company has given me a lot of opportunities. My management, my colleagues – we take care of each other and look out for each other’s welfare. It’s like a family too,” he said, adding that the thought helps to ease his longing to be home with his family.
We All Can Do Our Part
What Fajry misses most is the precious time he gets to spend catching up with his family on the first day of Hari Raya.
“Frankly, I feel sad to be far from my family this Hari Raya. But no matter what, I accept it. I must keep my emotions in check as no one asked for this outbreak to happen. But I believe that this is for the best for everyone. To all Singaporeans, I want to say that we can go through this together if we all do our part,” he said.
Watch NTUC FairPrice’s Ramadan Feature of Fajry:
As we spend our #circuitbreaker days at home with our family, we remember our colleagues who are separated from theirs. In the second episode of Ramadan with Our Frontliners, Fajry gives a peek of life separated from loved ones and shares a special message for his firstborn, Puteri. Share Fajry's story today. #RamadanwithOurFrontliners#SGUnited #OneFairmily
Posted by NTUC FairPrice on Monday, 4 May 2020