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Cheers to our Father’s Day Hero!

Hello everyone! My name is Bryan, and I hold the position of Logistic Manager here at Fajarbaru. Initially when I started working here, my main role was to set up the Track Machinery maintenance team in Padang Tengku for KTMB's rail track rehabilitation project from Jerantut to Gua Musang (Package B). Now that the project has been successfully completed, I still get excited whenever we make progress that promises its continuation and longevity.

For some context, Fajarbaru has just started a new business of renting track machinery upon completing the KTMB Package B project.  I feel very encouraged and motivated every time I wake up to find new rental business proposals and quotations from customers! But above all, I find that my core motivation at work comes from the management and my team’s support in planning and implementing all our strategic tasks.

Over the years of working closely together, the relationship I’ve managed to develop with my team has blossomed to resemble a tight-knit family. We talk, discuss, argue, agree, disagree, laugh and carry out our daily duties together. Fajarbaru has a clear vision that we are all aligned with, and it has created an effortless team dynamic that keeps us focused.

Nevertheless, ever since I’ve experienced the joy of being a father of 2, it has made me become a more thoughtful person. Kids, obviously, don’t come with manuals and can be unpredictable at times, so it’s hard to keep up. Thus, fatherhood has taught me an invaluable lesson in keeping my composure whenever I am faced with a difficult situation. Kids appreciate it when parents lead while walking with them, instead of pushing them.

This approach has definitely rubbed off in the way I lead my team. I now understand the pertinence to become their pillar of support and take charge while still practising empathy to see problems from multiple perspectives. As much as I hope people can learn from me, I understand that there is so much I can learn from my peers and children.

However, the dawn of the pandemic has really brought a shock into my roles as a leader to my team, and a father to my family. It brought a whole new set of challenges as a working parent. Aside from scrambling to get up on my feet with IT-driven SOPs for my day-to-day working routine, I am also struggling to keep the house at peace with 2 school going kids. We find ourselves having to take up the role of teachers.

The greatest takeaway from that experience is, please appreciate your teachers! It’s such a stressful profession, and I am thankful that my kids’ school is fully equipped and competent to carry out online classes. A tip-of-the-trade, I substituted my kids’ typical outdoor and social activities with simple rope skipping activities at home – or anything for them to get their daily release of energy.

Talking about my kids really reminds me of the relationship I have with my parents. Father’s Day has become more sentimental to me than ever. To me, it is a day of appreciating my Dad as my mentor during my rebellious stage when I was younger. But to my kids, Father’s Day simply means a great time and great food with their dad! Of course, ever since the lockdown, we are reminded to never take any celebrations at home for granted. In an ideal situation where COVID-19 magically disappears, I would pack everyone’s bags and fly us all to Sabah to spend the day with my father.

I’ve already lost precious time with my family in Sabah. It’s been more than 2 years since I’ve last seen my family and grandparents back in my hometown. This was challenging for me because I missed the Hari Kaamatan celebration. The festival is a sacred time for family gatherings as a sign of thanksgiving for a good paddy harvest. It is a tapestry of our culture and traditions dating back generations, and is still practiced today to thank the spirits for the harvest and ask for continuous prosperity in the following years. Everyone in Sabah looks forward to this annual Harvest Festival with eagerness that carries throughout the entire month and involves people travelling around the entire state to spend time with their loved ones. But the star of any festive celebration is always the food!

Although I am missing out with all these family events and cultural festivities, I am thankful for the technological advancements that make it possible for us to keep in touch with friends and family near and far via video calls. I mean, could you imagine what a worldwide pandemic would be like 20 years ago? After the fight against COVID-19 ends, I wish to bring my family balik kampung to visit our family and greet our elders back in Sabah. I can’t help but worry about them since I would assume that this pandemic hasn’t be easy on them in the slightest.

Unfortunately, the current situation has been hampering not only my personal life, but also the fundamental procedures in a workplace. I am optimistic that our nation will see better days in the future, by achieving herd immunity as soon as possible. In the meantime, I hope everyone stays safe.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t want us to overlook the blessings that we have gained throughout this experience under lockdown. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it is that this occurrence is truly once in a lifetime. There will hardly be any other time like this where the world slows down for us. So, I’m taking the time to appreciate the little things in life and be present to watch my children grow up right here at home. 

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