Hard times for the poor

Tan (left) with Mohd Zin at his at flat in Seri Alam.

JOHOR BARU: Six family members, who have been living in poverty, were shocked when enforcement officers from the Johor Housing Secretariat came to evict them from their flat.

The family had failed to pay rental arrears for their Flat Tasek 64, Seri Alam here amounting to RM6,900 but upon appealing were given a temporary reprieve.

Mohd Zin Mustafa, 47, said he was shocked as he had been given time to pay up.

He said he had to stop working in Singapore after a hit-and-run accident in 2015 and that is when his problems began.

“I woke up a few days later in hospital, where doctors told me I had a slipped disc, a broken leg and broken arm.

“I had no problem paying the rent before the accident but after that I lost my job,” he said when met at his flat here.

“I tried getting another job but as I have a heart condition, it was futile.

”I never gave up as I need the money to support my family. I even worked as a security guard but as I limp, I lost that job too,” he said.

"Those who were finding it difficult to pay the RM100 rent per month should have sought help from the state government." - Liow Cai Tung

Mohd Zin said it was difficult for his Indonesian wife, Eka Rosita, 40, to go out and work as she had to take care of their four children, aged between seven and 15.

He currently works at a friend’s workshop and earns between RM10 and RM20 a day, apart from the RM500 per month aid given by Baitulmal.

“The money is spent on our daily needs, food as well as for my medical expenses,” he said.

Pasir Gudang MCA division chief Tan Tuan Peng said the family was in dire straits.

“The authorities should have looked into this case carefully before taking action and evicting the family.

“The government should be more humane.

“There are children involved and when such drastic action is taken, what will happen to them,” he questioned, adding that MCA will help pay the rental arrears by next week.

When contacted, Johor Women Development and Tourism Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said the state government would find ways to help the family.

During the exercise, 10 other families were also evicted.

Liow said those who were finding it difficult to pay the RM100 rent per month should have sought help from the state government.

“If they receive their first or second notice come to Johor Housing Secretariat so that we can reschedule rental payment and offer other methods of payment,” she said.

“All 11 houses that were sealed have been reopened, with six families paying their arrears,” she said.

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