Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
GEORGE TOWN: Life for chicken seller Suzana Mansor has been a roller coaster ride for the past five years. And every time she picks herself up, life just knocks her down again.
She and her family of three had lived in a chicken coop with no access to water or electricity in 2016. With zakat money, a brick home was quickly built, but that home became decrepit and gave way, due to shoddy materials being used. But they did not complain.
Their suffering came to light again at the height of the first MCO last year, when a group sending out free food to those impacted by the lockdown saw them.
They were discovered living without power supply for over a year and on scraps brought by Suzana’s husband, Rosman Darus, 48, who then worked as a garbage collector.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd then built them a new home earlier this year, with power supply and free Astro. Then, Penang executive councillor Norlela Ariffin built her a new chicken coop to support her business.
Rosman then took up a job as a garbage truck driver, which saw him draw RM1,200 a month, RM400 more than before. But two months later, he was hit by a lorry while riding his motorcycle home from work.
It left him with his leg broken in three places, a broken kneecap and a shattered collar bone. A major surgery has left him largely bedridden. Today, he can’t even afford to take a taxi or Grab to Penang Hospital for his physiotherapy sessions and would seek donations to fund his transport for medical treatment.
A principal of a nearby kindergarten donated her motorcycle to the family but Rosman can no longer ride a bike, let alone take a 25km motorcycle trip to the hospital in George Town.
He’s something of a MacGyver though, and has fashioned a small crutch from a broomstick with a handle of an old badminton racquet to help him walk despite the pain in his right ankle.
The Social Security Organisation (Socso) has offered to send him to a rehab hospital in Melaka for three months but he cannot afford to leave his family on their own.
He also could not afford to pay RM50 for a full medical report from the general hospital, to allow him to claim RM36 a day for the 108 days he was on medical leave. He already has a RM700-plus water bill since they are charged under a commercial tariff.
‘No money for Maggi mee to buka puasa also, boss’
Suzana, 38, had to abandon her chicken rearing business to focus on her husband’s recovery and care for her two children. She now relies on the RM350 from the social welfare department, which she receives as aid for her children. She does not qualify for more, she has been told.
Reporters has reached out to the authorities.
“Last time, we would have bought baju raya for the children two weeks before the celebration. Today, they are asking us why their friends have new clothes and they do not.
“But we can’t even afford to buy Maggi mee to buka puasa, boss,” Rosman said when met by reporters yesterday.
Suzana said a welfare officer had told her she does not qualify for more aid but could apply for OKU (disabled) status for her husband to receive further benefits.
She said she relies on a monthly zakat food aid where she is allowed to take items such as milk formula for her children, diapers, soap, dishwashing liquid, cooking oil, eggs and rice from an outlet in town.
“I am afraid to ask for more. I’ve been asked by some welfare officers why I am complaining to the media when I have received all the aid that I can get. So, I have decided to keep quiet.
“We have been eating plain rice and egg for the past month. Sometimes, kind strangers would drop fresh produce at our house but I am unable to keep them for long as I do not have a fridge.”
Their eldest child, Nor Farisya, eight, was seen listening to Upin and Ipin Hari Raya songs on her parent’s only phone. Asked what she plans to do on the first day of Raya, she said she would be going door to door with her friends to collect duit raya.
Their youngest, Fazira Maizatul, five, was in her own world, playing with toys salvaged from the landfill her father used to work at.
For Rosman and Suzana, a small box of chocolate cookies a kind stranger had donated will be their “official kuih raya” this year.
“We will make do. But we do not know for how long,” she said.
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