A COUPLE and their six-month-old baby from Kuala Selangor, who were stranded in Johor Baru during the movement control order, have been sent home by the Social Welfare Department.
The family were first spotted joining the homeless while queueing up for free food.
They had arrived in Johor Baru on Jan 12 to visit relatives but were not able to return to their home in Kampung Hujung Permatang when the MCO was enforced the next day.
Since then, Muhamad Khairil Karim, 38, Hamidah Kadir, 36, and their baby had put up at a relative’s place in Kampung Melayu Majidee.
Muhamad Khairil, when interviewed before he returned home, said it was frustrating that he had no income to feed his family and his wife was also not working.
He also said that he lost his wallet while riding a motorcycle and had to get his MyKad, licence and bank cards replaced in Johor Baru.
“That was when I noticed a large group of people queueing up for free food from non-governmental organisations and for the past three days, we have been coming here for free meals, ” said Muhamad Khairil, who is a construction worker.
The family were among those standing in line when volunteers from Insane Kasih (I-Kasih) gave out food to the needy at the Laman Tun Sri Lanang outdoor carpark, one of the hotspots where the city’s homeless and needy gather.
Muhamad Khairil said the free meals helped them to save whatever money they had left.
“Some of the food given included packet milk and porridge, which is suitable for our baby.
“We do not know where else to go. Even to return to Hamidah’s hometown in Simpang Renggam, Kluang, is not possible due to the MCO, ” he said.
Johor Welfare Department director Mohamad Hapil, who visited the area with state women, family and community development committee chairman Zaiton Ismail, had said that assistance would be given to the family so they could go home.
“We go to the ground to meet the needy, especially during the MCO, to engage and listen to their problems.
“Muhamad Khairil’s case is an example where their problems were brought to our attention and we offered our help, ” he said.
Mohamad said the department has so far helped eight individuals in a similar situation three from Johor and five from other states - during this MCO.