Villagers from Kampong Tawakal told Shin Min Daily that Mas Selamat led a simple and rustic life while in hiding, doing nothing out of the ordinary that would raise suspicion.
He stayed in the lower floor of house number 15 along with Johar Hassan and his family. When asked, he told the villagers that he was recuperating from a fall, and was staying with Johar due to domestic problems.
From their accounts, this is what a day in the life of Mas Selamat could be like:
- Every morning, he bathed and washed his clothes by the well in the courtyard.
- He never prayed in the village surau. The house had no television, but he would listen to the radio or play tapes of Koranic verses. He prayed five times throughout the day.
- He seldom stepped out of the house in the day - not even during Hari Raya.
- Neighbour Wasilan Haji Suaudi said that Mas Selamat worked outside the courtyard wearing the same old shirt, long pants and yellow boots everyday, doing chores such as tidying up the tools in the tool shed.
- He would also take care of the plants in the courtyard which include peanut plants, banana, durian and longan trees, and bitter gourd. He was meticulous, and would wrap ripe jackfruit with black plastic bags to prevent birds and insects from eating it.
- Three months ago, he even gave the house a fresh coat of paint.
- When Johar (his landlord) and his family were not at home, he cooked his own meals.
- After dinner, he would play with Johar's daughters, who are aged six and eight.
- He sometimes went fishing with Johar's 12-year-old son at a large drain behind the house. They cooked the fish and had picnics after fishing.
- He made two swings for the children, and cycled with them.
- At times, he sat in front of the house smoking, seemingly in deep thought. He seldom spoke to the neighbours.
- He only left the house after 7pm, sometimes to buy daily necessities from the grocery shop.
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