Noodle stall owner spends two hours in solo effort under sweltering heat to clear broken glass on stretch of road for safety of motorists

SHAH ALAM: Ram Phueng Chentah, 46, was driving along Jalan Subang Perdana here at about 3pm on Friday when she came across glass fragments scattered along some four metres of the road.

Even though she had nothing to do with the broken glass being there, she immediately stopped by the roadside and called her daughter, who was at home, to bring brooms and a dustpan.

Chia Poh Jing, 17, rushed to the scene from their Taman Subang Sejahtera home, which is 2km away.

As Chia directed traffic to slow down, Chentah, for the next two hours, swept the glass fragments, much to the surprise of passing motorists.

“From the amount of fragments on the road, it seems like a huge glass piece fell off a lorry and shattered. I was not surprised when my mother called. It is not unusual for her to step in and do something in situations like this, as she always shows concern for public safety and welfare.

“She also has a heart for animals and often picks up injured strays, which she would take to the veterinary clinic, and looks after them at home until they are better before handing them to an animal shelter,” said Chia.

Chentah, who runs a noodle stall in a coffee shop at Sunway Mentari, Subang Jaya is originally from Thailand, and has been married and living in the country with her 51-year-old Malaysian husband Chia Chung Hon for the past 30 years.

She said it’s normal in Thailand for the public to be civic-conscious.

“We can’t all be bystanders and wait for someone else to clean up a mess. We have to do our part as ordinary citizens. When, I saw the glass fragments on the road, I realised it would be dangerous, especially for motorcyclists, and decided to remove them,” she said.

Motorist Mohd Ikhwan Hashim, 36, said: “I was on the way to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport when I noticed a girl frantically waving her hand to slow down traffic. I wondered what happened until I came across a lady sweeping glass fragments off the road. I was very surprised as the weather was really hot.

“It makes me feel proud that Malaysians are a caring lot.”

Motorcyclist Sandra Chong, 26, said she was “quite shocked to see a lady vigorously sweeping the road of glass fragments under the scorching heat”.

“I originally thought the lady was involved in an accident there, which is why she was busy clearing the road. Then I overheard someone say she was a concerned citizen cleaning up the mess. I was stunned.

“I wish I could have helped her, but I was on my way to a job interview and could not spare the time. It’s amazing to find total strangers doing this, so I guess civic consciousness is not dead after all.”

It is learnt that two policemen on motorcycles came to their aid and directed traffic. They also called a government department which sent workers with blowers to remove the remaining glass fragments.