Malaysia seems to be an unlikely South East Asian destination of choice for our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
But it is.
Just last month, one Spider-Man was spotted on the streets of Kuantan (in the state of Pahang in Malaysia) as he undertook the task of saving commuter(s) trapped in an overturned vehicle.
Part drink-store owner, part hero and cos-player, Mohd Azlan Mohamd Ashari, who happened to be in the suit as an avid fan of the Marvel superhero, swung into action as a car overturned just outside his drink store.
One Spider-Man in Kuala Lumpur Bringing Hope to Cancer Children
As it turns out, Spidey wasn’t yet done with giving hope to the people of Malaysia.
As Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reports, one Spider-Man has been swinging by the cancer ward in Hospital Kuala Lumpur for the better part of last three years.
The man behind the famous costume in this KL-iteration is Mohamad Shahril Sabari.
Crossing Paths with Cancer
A devoted fan of Star Wars as well, Shahril is all too familiar with the pain associated with cancer.
His best friend suffered from lymphoma, and he gamely sold his collection of figurines from the sci-fi franchise to help fund his friend’s chemotherapy.
Over the last three years, he has learnt not to let emotion get the better of him.
He recounts a time when he had to make way for the covered body of a child being wheeled out as he was about to spring his way through the ward doors.
Even then, his mission to cheer children up has no rest days; even during public holidays.
During Ramadan, he can be found breaking fast with children’s groups, just as he did when FMT followed him around.
Getting Into The Swing Of Things
Shahril first began to play the part when he was roped in by his friend, Jennifer Chua.
When asked if he was willing to play the role of Spider-Man, “He jumped at the chance and didn’t even ask if he would get paid,” said Chua.
She adds: “He’s great with children. He just naturally knows how to get them interested and involved.
“Not everyone can walk into a ward and play a role in front of sick children, many of whom have tubes attached to them and some who are obviously in pain”, Chua relates to FMS.
A Sense of Responsibility & Happiness
Recounting the oft-quoted phrase – With great power comes great responsibility-made famous by the comic, Shahril states that he possesses the self-same sense of responsibility.
Over time, he has taken it upon himself to study all of Spider-Man’s Hollywood movies to mimic the arachnid’s iconic movements, all in the absence of a radioactive spider.
But there are its rewards too.
Shahril shares that he enjoys the “bursts of happiness from the cancer-stricken children the moment he springs into the ward as the iconic web-crawler” on the days he steps aside from his day job at an engineering firm.
He says: “I need to do this. I want to make them happy. When the kids are happy, they forget their pain, even if it is only just for a brief moment.”
And in case you are wondering, Shahril has since rebuilt his Star Wars collection and now also collects superhero figures.
No prizes for guessing that his collection now includes Spider-Man too.
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