The less travelled road of DAP MP Steven Sim self-funding his former teacher’s pilgrimage

IN THE wake of Ipoh Timor MP Howard Lee Chuan How having sparked the controversy of wrongly interpreted the Quranic verse which he cited, fellow DAP peer Steven Sim Chee Keong has received all round praises for sponsoring his Standard One teacher and her husband to perform their umrah (mini haj) in Mecca – all with his own pocket money.

This has touched the heart of dental specialist Dr Kamsiah Haider who reacted to the Deputy Finance Minister II’s goodwill gesture as follows: “You are incredibly sweet and amazing. It warms my heart to witness such a thoughtful gesture. May God shower you with even greater blessings in life, YB Steven Sim Chee Keong 沈志强.”

“Woke up before dawn to go to the airport to surprise Cikgu Zaniyah,” penned the three-term Bukit Mertajam MP in a recent Facebook post that has attracted 7,000 likes, 720 positive comments and 527 shares at the time of writing.

“Last February, I promised to sponsor my Standard One teacher Cikgu Zaniyah and her husband Pak Johari to perform umrah. I intended to use my own money to appreciate the deeds of the first schoolteacher in my life, not any government allocation.”

Steven Sim Chee Keong (left) greeting Pak Johari who is the husband of his Standard One’s teacher Cikgu Zaniyah (in dark hijab)

Added the former pupil of SK Stowell and Bukit Mertajam High School (HSBM): “The exhaustion of waking up at 4am disappeared when I saw the smiling faces of Cikgu Zaniyah and Pak Johari.

“In the Holy Land later, may Cikgu make all the knowledge taught to Steven lawful and pray that Steven is given the strength to bear with the heavy responsibility as a representative of the people.”

There is indeed a lesson to be learnt here for younger DAP leaders from Sim’s action. While Lee who is also the Pakatan Harapan Youth deputy chief has infuriated Muslims from both divides has since apologised for his action, Sim has shown that one will never be wrong to behave in a humble and sincere manner.

“Thank you, YB Steven Sim Chee Keong 沈志强. Today is out third day in Mecca. Both my mother and father are in the best of health to perform their pilgrimage,” noted Wanie Zan who is Cikgu Zaniyah’s daughter. – Oct 2, 2023

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