SIBU: Life has been very challenging for Tiong Ngik Chin, who is single-handedly caring for her two autistic sons.
Her husband left her 19 years ago to fend for herself when she gave birth to her second child.
“I believe that he did not want to shoulder the burden of taking care of the two boys who needed special care. He abandoned us. I don’t even know where he is now, ” said Tiong, 54.
Dudong Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Women’s wing chief Kapitan Connie Loh led reporters to the dilapidated wooden detached house where Tiong lives to present financial aid to her.
Tiong’s children are aged 19 and 29. They had to quit schooling as the family was too poor to support their educational needs.
She works part-time as a dishwasher at a coffeeshop as she has to devote most of her time to look after the two boys.
The family relies on assistance of RM300 monthly from the Welfare Department to get by. Recently, her elder son was hospitalised after hitting himself unconscious. Her second son is unable to talk and only screams to convey his needs.
“Usually when I go out to work, I lock the two boys in separate rooms because of their special condition, ” she said.
The family has been living in the house on Jalan Jerrwit which belongs to Tiong’s mother for the past three years. Its ceiling is leaking and the wooden windows are dotted with holes. The wooden staircase in the house is also unstable and shaky, making it dangerous to walk on. The family do not even have a mattress to sleep on.
Loh said Tiong came to her office a few days ago to seek help.
“I can see that she is struggling, trying to make ends meet. Our Women’s wing has decided to donate some money from our I-Care fund to tide her over in this difficult time, ” she said.
On the dilapidated condition of the house, Loh said the branch chairman, Datuk Tiong Thai King, had agreed to repair it with funds from the Sarawak Poor People’s House Repair programme (PPRMS).
“A contractor will assess how much is needed to repair the house to make it habitable, ” she added.
Loh also hopes Good Samaritans could step forward to help the family.