THE Covid-19 pandemic and numerous lockdowns have disrupted many lives and businesses.
For one man, the effects were so severe that he could not work and earn an income. This subsequently impacted his quality of life.
Sixty-year-old Wong Sing Yeeng developed a medical condition following a serious accident in 2008 that made him unable to pass water the normal way.
He requires a specialised urine catheter, namely the clean intermittent catheterisation silicone.
The device costs RM220 per tube and each tube lasts for about a month.
However, the hospital in Ipoh where Wong used to buy the device ran out of stock due to restrictions brought about by the movement control order. He was also unable to acquire it online as it was unavailable.
So Wong had to leave his home in Ipoh in search of the device.
He checked with 20 pharmacies in Kuala Lumpur, but he quickly realised that the item was not easily available.
While in the city, Wong sought treatment at Hospital Kuala Lumpur for his condition, which required him to go in every two days. But with very little money left, he started sleeping outside the hospital to save money on lodging and transport.
He has been living on the streets for four months.
His plight came to the attention of Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, who sent a team to help Wong.
“The first thing we did was to look for the device that he required and with a photo he gave us, we went to 20 different pharmacies in Kuala Lumpur but none had the item in stock,” said Lim’s political secretary Yew Jia Haur.
“After many calls, we finally found a private hospital that had the item and we managed to get it for him,” he said.
Wong is also facing other problems brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Yew, Wong has not been able to earn a living from repairing sewing machines.
Having utilised all his savings, Wong now sleeps outside Hospital Kuala Lumpur so that he can save on transport expenses.
“We got him a room free of charge at an old folks home in Kepong, but he refused, saying that he did not want to travel to and from the hospital every other day. “He also said that as he had been visiting the hospital frequently, he worried about potentially exposing the elderly residents at the home to Covid-19 or other diseases.
“He has been using the public toilets in the area.
“Wong simply wants to go home and start working again.
“He does not want money or shelter, he just wants to be self-sufficient again,” said Yew.
“For now, he will continue his treatment at the hospital and once he is able to resume his trade, he will return to Ipoh.’’
Those who would like to help Wong can call Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng’s service centre hotline at 016-522 1218.