SHAH ALAM: With his uncanny resemblance to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, it is only natural for Bangladesh national Md Raton Choukidar to be getting requests for 'we-fies' from strangers.
However, the restaurant employee doesn't feel that he and the IGP look anything alike.
“I don’t think I look like him. I have seen pictures of him (Khalid) on social media and in the newspapers several times. He looks different than me,” said the 37-year-old while looking at a picture of Khalid in the New Straits Times.
“However, it does makes me happy when people approach me and ask to have their picture taken with me. No matter how busy I am at work, I will try to accommodate their requests. If they are happy, I am happy, too.
“So many people have told me how much I look like him (Khalid). I really would like to meet him and have a picture taken with him,” said Raton, who is generous with smiles.
Raton created a buzz on social media when a picture of him, with a caption “IGP has taken a job as a roti canai maker” went viral on Facebook several months ago.
Raton said the Facebook account user had approached him for a photo, and he thought nothing of it.
“He said I looked like a policeman. I just smiled as I did not know who he was talking about. Then, more people came and told me the same thing, because they saw me on Facebook.”
Another picture of Raton was recently posted by another Facebook user at a New Year’s event recently, with a hashtag in Bahasa Malaysia that read “similar but different”.
Raton said he left Dhaka for Malaysia five years ago to seek employment to support his wife and two young children back home.
In Dhaka, he worked as a men’s tailor. He said he decided to come to Malaysia because his friends who were already here told him the country was peaceful and that he could earn more to support his family.
Since his arrival in Malaysia, he has been working at Pak Mal Nasi Ayam restaurant in Section 10 here, where he has been described as a trustworthy employee, tasked with preparing food and beverages, and was recently been put in charge of the Western food section.
At work, Raton is a “chief” of sorts, too, as he trains a group of Bangladeshi workers on how to cook and prepare drinks for customers.
Raton has since become somewhat of a “celebrity” at Pak Mal Nasi Ayam, as customers would often come to have their pictures taken with him.
“Sometimes, I have to come out of the kitchen because customers are asking for me. I have had policemen coming here, too, just to have pictures taken with me.
“When I am out shopping on my days off, people would also approach me. A lot of people also like to stare,” he said.
Raton, who has not been back to Dhaka in five years, said he plans to spend Ramadan this year with his family there.
For Pak Mal Nasi Ayam manager Ameerul Izham Kamarul Hilal, 29, Raton was hardworking and took pride in his job.
“I never thought about his striking resemblance to our IGP, maybe because I see him every day.
“When he first came to Malaysia, he did not speak a word of Bahasa Malaysia. Now, he can do everything,” he said.