Seremban’s ‘Kedai Muhibah Raya’ brings joy to single mother and her children with free Hari Raya clothes

Tan (far left) and Norhayati (seated) with her eight children who were happy after selecting their favourite Hari Raya clothes. — Picture via Nicole Tan Lee Koon

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PETALING JAYA, May 11 — Norhayati Mohamad Nor has not been able to buy her nine children new clothes for the past three Hari Raya celebrations.

The single mother said it was not a priority as compared to putting food on the table.

This year, however, the family was able to get new and used clothes courtesy of Kedai Muhibah Raya, whose initiative is giving free clothes to anyone in need.

Norhayati, who stays in a flat in Seremban 2, retired at 40 from the government sector as an assistant accountant because she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and had to undergo an operation.

“I couldn’t afford to retire later as I was worried about my health and opted for an early retirement.

“Out of my 10 children, two are working so they regularly send in money to me so that I can pay for utilities and the water bill.

“Sometimes, the surau near my flat offers basic essentials such as rice, sardine and dry food that I can take for myself and my children. But on other days, we would just manage with what we have.”

For previous years, the single mother would usually tell her elder children to give their clothes that they have outgrown to their younger siblings.

Her sons and daughters are all of the same size so sharing their clothes wasn’t a problem for previous festivities.

“I’m glad and my children were excited to pick their favourite clothes and had smiles on their faces after leaving the shop.

“I will also recommend this place to my other friends who are single mothers and friends who have lost their jobs,” she said.

This year would be different for them as not only do they have new clothes, but the district officer also gave her financial aid and food packets.

Launched last Saturday by Bukit Kepayang assemblyman Nicole Tan Lee Koon, the shop is open to anyone and offers clothes such as baju kurung, shirts, pants and infant clothes.

Anyone in need can take the new and used clothes for free.

Tan spearheaded the charity organisation as many were hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic and wanted to bring cheer with the Hari Raya festivities around the corner.

She recorded a total of 91 people having visited the shop since last Saturday.

“While certain individuals have sponsored new clothes, those interested in donating their used clothes need to make sure the clothes are in good condition.

“Anyone who enters the shop will be in the festive mood as Raya songs are played apart from decorative items placed in the shop.

“If the shop is able to get more donations in terms of clothes and utensils, it might even extend to after the Hari Raya celebrations,” she said.

Tan added that other items that will be placed in the shop such as pots and pans, shoes and kitchen utensils.

Kedai Muhibah Raya is open daily from 10am till 4pm and is located at 65, Jalan MPK 3, Taman Bukit Kepayang, Negri Sembilan.