Recipient of the Jamiyah Exemplary Mother Award in 2011
She is a woman of steel. Her husband left the marital home after the birth of her youngest daughter to start another family elsewhere, leaving her with 4 children to raise. As all her family members were in Malaysia, she felt helpless with no one to turn to for assistance. But the few words that her husband said to her before he left “you go back to your country as are not working and cannot feed the children...” spurred her on giving her the courage and determination to prove him wrong.
With no financial support, they were able to manage for a while with some tailoring work at home, until she secured a job near her home. Her meagre salary, however, barely enough to support her family. Every month they had to endure the electricity and water supply at their flat being cut countless times. Many nights her children spent their time studying with candle lights even during their exams but were always optimistic and never stopped smiling. Even after 16 years of separation, Mdm Suraiya has no animosity towards her husband. Her children were advised to respect their father.
To cope with her stress and tension, she joined the Community Centre to be involved actively with social work as a member of the Indian Activity Executive Committee, Women Executive Committee of Kaki Bukit CC and was also active in the school Parent Support Group. Because of her hard work and willingness to sacrifice for her family’s happiness, her son graduated with a Master degree in Fine Arts and is now a cinematographer, her second daughter is a teacher and is currently pursuing a degree course at SIM after her diploma in Sports Management while her youngest daughter is still studying is Secondary School.