It may have been his birthday on Sunday (Mar 29), but instead of celebrating his special day at home, Sailor Zulqarnaen Suzliman was out and about early in the morning at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) to do his part in helping the community battle Covid-19.

More commonly known by his nickname “Mamat”, Zulqarnaen, along with three other Sailors – Saifullah Akbar, Naqiuddin Eunos, and Haiqal Pashia – was at OTH to distribute hand sanitisers to the community, as part of the #BYOBclean initiative by Temasek Foundation.

“Even though it’s my birthday today, I decided to volunteer my time with this #BYOBclean initiative because I think it’s important that all of us come together to fight this virus,” said Mamat.

“We have to treat this (virus) seriously and do what we can to beat it. But what I’m doing today is still nothing compared to the frontline healthcare workers, who are working hard and sacrificing a lot more every day.”

With the suspension of team trainings and the Singapore Premier League (SPL) currently on hold, Mamat did, however, admit that it has been tough adapting to life without football.

“Of course, I miss football a lot,” said Mamat. “I miss the training, the grind, and playing matches. But I know I have to be patient for now and wait till everything is fine.”

Agreeing, Sailor midfielder Saifullah added that he was taking no chances with the virus, and was following all the safety guidelines – such as staying at home as much as possible, observing social distancing, and wearing a mask when he goes out – closely.

The 21-year-old explained that he is extra cautious when it comes to the virus, as he lives with his elderly grandmother and baby sister.

“Because of how old they are, I think my grandmother and sister are more vulnerable to the virus, and I don’t want to do anything that will put them at risk,” said Saifullah. “I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I take all the necessary precautions to ensure that we remain healthy.

“Nonetheless, I still decided to come out here to OTH today to help out in this initiative because it’s the right thing to do. As Sailors, we have a responsibility to give back and contribute to the community whenever we can.”

Apart from Saifullah and Mamat, four other Sailors – Adam Swandi, Naqiuddin Eunos, Haiqal Pashia and team manager Herwandy Hamid – also made the trip down to OTH during the week to take part in this initiative.

All of us at Lion City Sailors are proud to join in Singapore’s fight against Covid-19!