SHAH ALAM, Sept 12 -- Even after retiring from the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) in the 70s, Datuk Ibrahim Osman chose to keep serving the nation by setting up an orphanage.
The 77-year-old veteran served in the military from 1963, fighting against the enemy and communist insurgency before retiring in 1979. He now manages an orphanage called Rumah Amal Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Darul Ehsan which he built in 2006 on his family estate in Kuala Langat.
While serving in the military, he was involved in many operations including in hotspots in Kota Tinggi in Johor and Pulau Sebatik and Pulau Nunukan in Sabah.
Describing how he shifted from being a fearless soldier to a community activist, Ibrahim said after retirement, his 'spirit' to serve the country continued to burn so he decided to be a volunteer for several charity programmes.
“Soon after my retirement, I was involved in charities to help individuals suffering from different illnesses to receive financial assistance in their bid for a cure.
“While volunteering, I witnessed people from all walks of life, including friends and relatives, making applications for financial assistance for their illnesses. From there, I learned on how to raise funds and donations before setting up a charity,” he told Bernama here, recently.
Despite the many hindrances in establishing the welfare home, Ibrahim said the trouble was worth it as he could now feel the satisfaction of giving back to society.
On the orphanage, it currently houses 46 orphans from all over the country, comprising 20 boys and 26 girls.
He said the monthly operating expenses of the home including for meals, utilities and workers totalled around RM20,000, which is borne by himself and the community through generous donations.
“Here, we emphasise on education. We also provide pocket money for school and even provide tuition teachers to help them study after school hours.
“I’m pleased that about 10 children from this orphanage have furthered their studies at tertiary level including in Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Utara Malaysia,” he said.