Malaysia's first man in space delivers food for his restaurant amid coronavirus movement curbs

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor delivers food for a restaurant he co-owns in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR SHUKOR/INSTAGRAM

KUALA LUMPUR - He was the first Malaysian to be launched into space during the first prime ministership of Tun Mahathir Mohamad, but today, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is delivering food using a motorcycle amid the country's partial lockdown.

The 47-year-old delivers food for Rebung, a restaurant he co-owns in Kuala Lumpur.

The 17-year-old popular restaurant serves Negeri Sembilan recipes. His partner is the famed local cook Chef Ismail.

The social media post on Wednesday (April 22) of the good-looking, trained orthopaedic surgeon gained wide traction with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar showing himself perched on a motorcycle.

On his back was a large orange bag for delivering food.

He captioned it "Being a delivery boy".

Under Malaysia's ongoing movement control order (MCO), restaurants are allowed to only serve takeaway food, or work with food delivery platforms.

But there have been complaints that major big food-delivery players charge high commissions of up to 30 per cent, leading some restaurants and small traders to use other means to send food ordered online to their fans.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar became the first Malaysian to reach space when he was launched to the International Space Station on board the Soyuz TMA-11 in Oct 2007.

He is married to a front-liner, Dr Halina Mohd Yunos, and they have four children.

Speaking about Rebung, he said: "We (reopened) again last week during this MCO and I personally put my feet on the ground to deliver food. It's the best."

The restaurant has 80 employees and gastronomic awards to its name.

Said one Twitter user quoted by New Straits Times newspaper: "He's been my idol since I was a kid. Now he's also a delivery man. Nice one, boss. He's truly a humble person."

"He's not picky about work. Even though he could just stay at home the whole day, he decided to participate. Good job to our astronaut," said another netizen quoted by NST.

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