Restaurant gives opportunity to the hearing-impaired and those on parole

Norshahrizan at his restaurant - Image from The Star

By John Isaac

A restaurant owner tried desperately to hire some locals to work with him, but despite numerous attempts, he was unable to do so.

So, his next best option was to turn to social media and indeed, he did get some response - but from the hearing-impaired community.

Norshahrizan Zainal then decided to give them a chance, since he could not get any other workers, who according to him opted for higher paying jobs in Singapore.

He said he then employed some hearing-impaired workers for his restaurant along Jalan Keris in Taman Sri Tebrau and soon after that, he got another proposal.

A parole officer dropped by and told him about a programme that sent prisoners to work for three months as part of their parole.

“I agreed to employ them. In the past two years, I have taken in some 25 people serving their parole for three months in this restaurant,” he said.

Not only do his workers get to work, they are provided with accommodation at a hostel near his restaurant.

“I have 16 workers now, four of whom are deaf while three are on parole.

“Each of them has his or her own strengths. But they are all disciplined, even those who have spent time behind bars,” he said, adding that they worked as cleaners and helpers in the kitchen.

According to reports in The Star, Norshahrizan said he never treated the deaf and those on parole any differently from his other workers.

And this, according to him, helped his business, whose main dish is mee rebus.

“The mee rebus is from a family recipe handed down three generations,” he said.

Norshahrizan said he hoped to see more business owners, especially young entrepreneurs, give opportunities to the less fortunate.