Baby brings luck to homeless couple

KUALA LUMPUR - The birth of their baby boy has brought good luck and joy for homeless couple, Zaki and Maya.

Just as the boy was born on Monday, the couple - who have been living under bridges - was finally offered a room to stay and its rental to be paid by Baitulmal.

"We are glad that we finally have a home and our son doesn't have to live under the bridges," said the new father, who promised to work hard to ensure the well-being of his son, who is yet to be named.

"He is our everything. No matter how hard we struggle, we don't want our child to suffer even for a bit," said the 33-year-old.

The baby, weighing 2.45kg, came three weeks before the due date via a Caesarean section.

Zaki said they were taking a walk when Maya suddenly had contractions.

"I immediately stopped a taxi to send her to the hospital.

"I told the driver frankly that I had no money but he said it was all right and gave us a free ride," he recalled when met at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital here on Wednesday.

Despite their difficult living conditions and numerous requests from people - some of whom even offered between RM8,000 (S$3,140) and RM10,000 for the newborn, Zaki stressed that the couple would not abandon their baby or put him up for adoption.

The couple also thanked members of the public and their other homeless friends, who had lent them a helping hand.

Zaki and Maya got to know each other in 2011 when she was given his phone number by a mutual friend.

"Out of curiosity, I called him and we talked over the phone.

"It was a very pleasant chat and our relationship took off after several meetings," said Maya, 23, of her husband.

However, Maya's mother opposed their courtship on grounds that Zaki was only a shop assistant, with a previous broken marriage.

So, the couple ran away from Arau to get married before eventually arriving in the city to start their new life. Very soon, they realised that life in Kuala Lumpur was not easy as they thought it would be.

When Zaki could not find a job, the couple ended up living under the bridges along Sungai Klang here with dozens of other homeless folk and drug addicts.

Meanwhile, the baby's birth may have also opened the way towards reconciliation for Maya and her estranged mother, who was happy to hear about the newborn.

"I called my mother and she was very happy to know that she has become a grandmother.

"She asked me to bring the baby back home but not Zaki. But I am not going anywhere without my husband.

"I have no regrets going through hard times as long as Zaki is by my side," she added.