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Previous tough times prompt Kak Chah to offer free nasi lemak to students

Previous tough times prompt Kak Chah to offer free nasi lemak to students

JOHOR BAHRU: Having gone through some tough times and facing financial problems until she could not continue her studies has inspired a nasi lemak stall operator, Siti Aishah Othman, to give free food to students.

Wanting to be known as Kak Chah, 32, who has only been doing business at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for a month, welcomes students at the university to take food for free, through a note on her stall.

Her initiative over the past two days has gone viral on social media, with many students lining up as early as 7 am to take a free regular nasi lemak complete with anchovies, cucumber, peanuts and egg.

“When I started my business here, there were students who came every day to buy regular nasi lemak which I sold for RM1 a pack.

“I understood they needed to save and would not eat the regular nasi lemak each day, and some also paid with coins…so I just donated the staple to them,“ she said when met at UTM, here, yesterday.

Two days ago, Siti Aishah’s note that reads, “Dear students, if you don’t have any money, don’t starve, come here and I will treat you. I was a student before, so don’t be shy,” went viral on social media and received various compliments and positive reactions from netizens.

$!Previous tough times prompt Kak Chah to offer free nasi lemak to students

The mother of a child who was only able to pursue a Bachelor of Writing degree at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Puncak Alam for a year in 2010 due to financial problems, said that since yesterday, her stall was visited by many and it closed as early as 11 am.

“Yesterday, some people paid the RM1 pack of nasi lemak for 200 students, so I helped cook it and all were given away.

“There were also students who came but were shy to take it. I understand that we tend to be shy when we face hardship but I give out the nasi lemak sincerely,“ said the eighth child of nine siblings whose parents had passed away.

The woman from Kedah said apart from giving regular nasi lemak for free to students, she still did business as usual by selling nasi lemak with side dishes to earn some income.

Admitting that the increase in the price of goods, especially chicken, has caused her not to earn much profit, she still sells the food cheap, such as RM4 for a piece of spicy chicken.

“I just don’t have the heart to charge a high price…I’m aware that everyone has to be prudent now as the price of goods has gone up, and students also have to save money. The profit is not much but I am till grateful and hope to continue giving for as long as I can,” she said. – Bernama