Accident victim's wife wants funds used on kids' education

Madam Rohaya (seated, second from left) with her daughters Siti Nur Raudhah (left), 11, and Siti Nur Aisyah, 14, and sons Muhammad Nur Fadhli, 16, and Muhammad Nur Firdhaus, seven. Her husband, the family's main breadwinner, died in a hit-and-run acc
Madam Rohaya (seated, second from left) with her daughters Siti Nur Raudhah (left), 11, and Siti Nur Aisyah, 14, and sons Muhammad Nur Fadhli, 16, and Muhammad Nur Firdhaus, seven. Her husband, the family's main breadwinner, died in a hit-and-run accident in Johor Baru a day before the month of Ramadan began.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Most of $110k raised via crowdfunding going into trust fund

The day before the month of Ramadan began, Madam Rohaya Zainal Abidin lost her husband Zulkefli Yusop, 47, in a hit-and-run accident in Johor Baru.

In the month that followed, the 44-year-old mother of four was the recipient of an outpouring of support and generosity from Singaporeans of all races and religions.

Well-wishers knocked on her door to give the family food or cash.

Two days before Hari Raya Aidilfitri on July 6, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Iskandar paid the family a visit at their two-room flat in Marine Terrace here to personally bring them some kueh (Malay for cakes) and gifts.

"He called an hour before coming. We were all quite shocked. Then he just sat down, talked with us and gave us support," said Madam Rohaya's eldest child, Muhammad Nur Fadhli, 16.

A crowdfunding drive on website GiveAsia has raised over $110,000 for the family, $100,000 of which will be placed in an education trust fund managed by the Prophet Muhammad's Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board (LBKM).

Yesterday, Madam Rohaya handed a cheque for $100,000 to LBKM. The money will be disbursed in six- month intervals to her four children, aged between seven and 16.

"My only wish is for my children to study hard and make me proud as a mother," said Madam Rohaya, a part-time cashier who takes home $500 each month.

Mr Zulkefli, a driver and the family's main breadwinner, was riding his motorcycle to JB to pass his mother some money when he met with the accident involving a car. He died on the spot. The car driver has since been arrested.

Madam Rohaya stressed that she wanted the money raised to go to her children's education. It is partly why she approached LBKM.

LBKM president Suhaimi Salleh said the money would be disbursed until the trust fund runs out, or when the last child graduates from a post-secondary institution.

Fadhli, who will be taking his O levels this year, hopes to eventually use the money to study aerospace engineering at a polytechnic.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 17, 2016, with the headline 'Accident victim's wife wants funds used on kids' education'. Print Edition | Subscribe