Daniel Lee Bin Abdullah
Single father of two, MyTeksi driver, Malaysian, understanding man
Lee, one of the most common Chinese surname, but for Daniel, his full name is Daniel Lee bin Abdullah. The transformation of his name could be perceived to have changed his life quite a lot, but to Daniel, Chinese or Malay, we are all the same. He sees himself as Malaysian.
“To me, religion is all the same, it’s our heart that matters,” he said with a wide smile.
It has been 16 years since Daniel converted to Muslim, not because he wanted to marry to a Muslim girl but simply because he likes the Islamic culture. Growing up, having friends who were almost all Malays, the affinity towards becoming an Islam grew in Daniel. Even after his divorce, Daniel remains believing in what he believes in, the values and teachings of Islam.
Daniel is a single father with two children; 5 years old son, Danish and daughter, Nurul Syabila who is in Standard 5. With his previous job working as a clerk, his salary was not enough to support the two children. He could not afford to get a babysitter for his children. He had to look for another job for two crucial reasons. One; to be able to spend more time with his children and two; to earn a little more to be able to provide better for his family. There is always a way for this relentlessly loving and optimistic man to do anything for his children. He found a job at MyTeksi that allowed him to bring along his children in the taxi as long as the customers are fine with the condition.
“Most of the customer do not mind to go along with my kid as long as I could send them to their destination safely but not all the time,” said Daniel.
There are some customers who would cancel their booking after they find out about Daniel’s children being in the taxi due to the reason that they are paying for the service and that they should have the right to rent the whole taxi for their own. To Daniel, he never feels bad or anger regarding by this. He does not mind the customer getting another taxi. He could not bear to leave his children alone.
Growing up, it was never a trouble of boundaries for Daniel to get along with people regardless of their religion or nationality. He shares that it helps him to build the ability to understand and learn from the good of each person. To Daniel, to define a good human being is not related to his or her religion, race or nationality but by his or her heart. In fact, he taught Amy Tam, a Hong Kong student in Malaysia who is currently interning as a Communications Intern at the Global Peace Foundation (Malaysia) how to not get cheated be general taxi drivers in Malaysia.
“People tend to listen to what other people and the social media say and they would be influenced by it, but you have to ask yourself is it the truth,” Daniel said.
We often think from our own perspective without empathy and miss-out the reality that we all live in the same society as one. People may have their own difficulties and what not but this does not make one less deserving to be treated in a more understanding way. It is imperative that we try to understand each other more, lift each other up. We believe everyone small effort can bring a big ripple of change for the better to the world.
This was a kaleidoscope of Daniel Lee, a Mandela, of how he embraces diversity in his own charm.
So, how are you harmonising diversity in your own charm.
Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.