ON most days Chan Weng Khee, 74, does not have enough food for himself, but he still makes sure to feed his five dogs and even the mice which visit his crude shed at Lebuh McNair in Penang.
Living alone in the shed for the past few decades, Chan usually relies on well-wishers for his food.
He then shares whatever food he gets with his dogs, which have become his best friends and companions.
Chan, who is from Ipoh, Perak, is partially deaf after being hit on the head by an assailant many years ago. His wife passed away a few years ago and he has no other family members.
Chan said he earns some money daily by collecting cardboard boxes and recyclable items. He also receives monthly aid from the Welfare Department.
“I also take up odd jobs to earn some extra money.
“I am paid 20 sen for every kilo of cardboard box collected. I usually make around RM1.50 a day.
Sometimes, it is not even enough for me to pay for a meal.
“I am thankful that some kindhearted people provide me with food.
“Once in a while, the meat and chicken rice sellers nearby will give me some bones and leftovers so that I can feed my dogs,” he said when met at his shed.
At night, Chan sleeps on a foldable deck chair placed in front of the shack and uses an unwanted banner as a blanket. On rainy days, he is holed up inside the shack.
He said the state government had offered him a one-bedroom unit in Rifle Range, but he rejected it as he was not allowed to bring along his dogs.
“Furthermore, Rifle Range is so far away from the Macallum Street market where I usually collect recyclable items.
“I depend on a tricycle pushcart to move around and I hope that I can stay here until my last breath,” he added.