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Thursday September 9, 2010

Timely help for octogenarian

DUST-covered furniture, a grimy toilet, cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and overgrown lalang in the front yard.

Not many people would sacrifice a Sunday to clean up someone else’s house especially when confronted with such a messy sight, but it was all in a day’s work for 15 volunteers from the state MCA Crisis Relief Squad (CRSM) to spruce up the home of octogenarian Abdullah Jani and his wife Achot Abdul Kadir, 78, in Kampung Labu Batu Lapan near Seremban recently.

Negri Sembilan CRSM chief Datuk Yip Chee Kiong, who led the team, said he was shocked by the condition of the house when he first visited it and decided to rope in his team to clean it up in time for Hari Raya.

Have a good Raya: Yip (fourth from right) chatting with Abdullah Jani and his wife Achot after cleaning up the couple’s house during their visit recently. With them is Hasim Rusdi (left).

“The couple’s plight was brought to my attention by one of the residents in the area. The house was in such a mess and looked like it had not been cleaned for years with cobwebs and dust everywhere.

“Even the garden was overgrown with lalang and creepers. It is unfortunate that no one had offered them help before,” he said outside the couple’s house recently.

Yip and his team washed the house, wiped the windows clean, painstakingly scrubbed the toilet and bathroom and spruced up the garden to help the couple celebrate Raya in a cleaner environment.

“It was not a pleasant or easy job but I am glad that we completed the task and now these old folks can look forward to a brighter Hari Raya.

“I am grateful for the help received from our volunteers and also to Kin Peun Trading from Kuala Lumpur for contributing the new furniture worth RM3,000,” he said, adding the team received help from Syarikat Air Negri Sembilan, which deployed a water truck to the house and the Nilai Municipal Council, which provided a lorry to transport garbage.

The team took four hours to complete the clean-up task and also replaced the broken furniture with new ones sponsored by well-wishers. The couple now have a television set, a new dining table, sofa and a comfortable bed.

Happy moment: Abdullah Jani and some neighbourhood children watch as workers deliver a new sofa for his home.

State Rural Development, Consumer Affairs and Public Amenities committee chairman Datuk Hasim Rusdi, who presented the couple with duit raya, said the efforts of the CRSM team should be exemplified by others.

“Now that their house is cleaned up and looks as good as new, I hope their grandchildren and neighbours will help them maintain it,” said Hasim who is also Labu assemblyman.

Abdullah, 83, who has called the two-room house home for more than half a century expressed his gratitude to the CRSM team for coming to the couple’s aid.

“This is the best Hari Raya gift ever. I am looking forward to having my extended family and neighbours over for festivities this time.

“As we grew older we were unable to take care of our house like we did before because of our frail health and we just got used to living like this,” he said.

Despite health problems, both Abdullah and his wife continue to sell vegetables at a nearby farmers’ market to earn a living, leaving them little time to worry about the state of their house.

“Everyone would like to live in a clean environment but we have no time to worry about that as we have to work to put food on the table,” he said adding that their five children had families of their own and could not help the couple with upkeeping of the house.

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