SENIOR citizen Lau Kim Khi’s ancestral home at the Bukit Merah New Village in Lahat was burned to the ground three years ago.
With no money to rebuild his house, Lau resorted to putting up two shacks, one for himself and another for his mentally-ill wife, with whatever he could salvage.
“Until six months ago when our plight was highlighted in the newspapers, that was how we slept.
“We now sleep under two tents donated by the Perak Kwangtung Association while waiting for our house to be rebuilt,” said Lau, adding that the fire that destroyed his home started from a pile of rubbish next door.
Without a kitchen to cook his meals, Lau and his 55-year-old wife survive on economy rice.
“I still manage with two or three meals a day but there is no money for any meat dishes.
“We have only vegetables with rice,” said the 68-year-old former tin mine worker who makes a living by doing odd jobs and collecting recyclable items.
Lau said they have a 20-year-old son working in a factory in Tasek but that the latter hardly ever came back to their home on Jalan Merah 1/4A.
“There’s nothing to come home to anyway.
“He lives with my sister-in-law who had brought him up from the time he was born,” he said, revealing that his wife could not raise their son as she suffered from postpartum depression, which eventually led to her current mental state.
Ipoh Barat MCA service team captain Lee Swee Liong, who is assisting the couple, said Lau had received RM25,000 in donations when he appealed for public help last year.
“Unfortunately, he needs another RM25,000 as the cost to reconstruct and furnish his house is at least RM50,000.
“We hope the public can help them out and ease their suffering,” he said.
For details or to donate, call Lee at 016-598 3111.