Devoted wife helps cleaner husband at his job every day
She follows cleaner husband to work every day - to help him do his job
Madam Hairunishak embodies love and devotion.
Every day, when her husband, cleaner Ahmad Hussein, goes to work, she joins him to help out with his job.
Nothing unusual there until she revealed that she does not get paid. She is doing it, she said, simply because she wants to be with him.
"I don't feel tired because I get to spend time with my husband. I enjoy working with him," the 61-year-old said with a smile.
Mr Ahmad is in charge of sweeping the public areas of Blocks 493A, 493B and 493E in Tampines Street 43.
The couple, who have been married for 41 years, often split the workload. If Mr Ahmad sweeps the corridors, Madam Hairunishak will sweep the void decks and lift lobbies.
"When I help him, we finish work at around 10am to 11am. If he works alone, he finishes at noon," she said.
She started following him to work five years ago. At the time, Mr Ahmad, 66, had been suffering from gout for five years.
"Even though it was not very serious at first, I still wanted to relieve his burden," said Madam Hairunishak, who used to work as a cleaner.
There was even a period in 2013 when she took over her husband's duties.
His health had worsened and he had to stop working for four months.
Mr Ahmad, who has been at this job for the last six years, said: "Last time, I felt pain only around my knees. There would be occasional swelling, but it would subside in a week. In 2013, it became so bad that I couldn't walk and had to use a wheelchair."
Madam Hairunishak said: "I was afraid he might lose his job if he was absent for too long, so I worked instead."
The couple, who live in a studio apartment in Tampines, have three children. Their daughters, aged 39 and 40, are housewives and their 30-year-old son is a technician. They have eight grandchildren.
Mr Ahmad said he is deeply moved by his wife's actions.
He said: "I am very lucky to have her. She is a very understanding wife."
While he declined to reveal his monthly salary, he said he gives three-quarters of it to his wife, who uses it mainly for household expenses.
The couple's colleague, who wanted to be known only as Mr Rahim, said Madam Hairunishak is a "very good wife".
Mr Rahim, 54, who has known the couple for six years, said: "Most people would complain if they had to do this, but she is not like that. Where can you find such a good wife who always helps her husband?
"They are a very loving couple. They are inseparable. After work, they always go to the coffee shop across the road to have a drink together."
Mr Ahmad said his wife is also well-liked by residents.
"She has been doing this for so long that most of the residents know her. If they do not see her, they will ask me, 'Where is your wife?'"
He said that some residents give them red packets during Chinese New Year.
A resident of Block 493B, who wanted to be known only as Madam Geetha, said: "She (Madam Hairunishak) will always smile and say 'good morning'. Sometimes, she talks to my daughters as well."
When told that Madam Hairunishak does the work voluntarily to help her husband, the 30-year-old housewife said she was touched.
Mr Hafiz Rahmat, 29, a planning officer, who alerted The New Paper to the couple, said: "I have seen her sweeping the corridors and carpark every day for more than five years."
Mr Hafiz, who has been living in the estate for 17 years: "I thought she was simply doing community service. If she was, her efforts should be recognised."
When he found out why she is helping her husband, Mr Hafiz said: "I am really touched... and I hope the community shares the same feeling."
He also hopes that residents can help keep the neighbourhood clean so as to lighten the couple's workload.
"It's the least we can do," he said.