The COVID-19 outbreak and the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced to contain it has left a record number of Malaysians jobless.

According to recent data, a total of 778,800 people are unemployed, as of April - the highest since 1990.

M Gurubaran, 24, from Rawang, Selangor, is one of them.

However, instead of staying at home and crying over his fate, the youth opened up a stall selling nasi lemak, and business is so good now that he says he does not plan to go back to his old job!

Guru's business was first highlighted by Facebook user Angkayar Kanni, last week.

It shows the youth standing next to his humble stall, selling the favourite local dish in packets costing RM1.50 each, while wearing a face mask, and even gloves.

"Congrats to his determination and not giving up attitude. Let's support him. Location Sg Dua Batu Arang road towards highway toll (sic). The time is from 7am till 9am, Monday to Saturday," read the post, which has until now, garnered over 500 likes, and 2,800 shares.

After the said post became viral, The Star's Malay portal M Star managed to track down Guru and interview him.

According to him, he used to drive a van ferrying factory workers, but business was affected during the MCO following factory closures and retrenchments.

"I had no means of income for two months, and I had to find an alternative to keep surviving. That's when I got the idea to open up a nasi lemak stall.

"I chose nasi lemak because it is a crowd favourite and when I opened this stall in May, it was during the fasting month of Ramadhan, where not a lot of stalls were open to serve breakfast," he told the portal.

Guru, as well his mother and sister, get up as early as 4am daily to prepare up to 50 packets of nasi lemak during business days and his stall is open by 7am.

There have been days where the packets get sold out within an hour, but other days are comparatively slower. His customer comprises of all races.

Despite the warm reception so far, Guru has also faced challenges. This includes vehicles slowing down to buy nasi lemak from his stall, but end up leaving by not purchasing anything, probably after seeing it is sold by an Indian.

"I'm ok with that. I just want to put it in record that my nasi lemak is prepared in a clean manner without any dodgy ingredients. In fact, I wear a face mask and gloves throughout business hours," he said.

Guru has no plans to going back to his old job anytime soon.

"I want to continue selling nasi lemak and also have plans to add on more items, like fried meehoon and Malay kuihs to the menu, in the near future."

Bravo, Guru! He has proven that no hurdle is left uncrossed, as long as there is will and hard work.

May he and his business venture reach greater heights!


Source: Facebook, mstar.com.my
Photo source: Angkayar Kanni Facebook