Man needs proper roof over his head


  • Community
  • Wednesday, 27 Aug 2003

By MANJIT KAUR

HOME to former labourer Koay Eng Huat @ Soon Eng Huat has been reduced to a dilapidated storeroom from a two-room flat after an accident three years ago. 

Koay, 53, who suffered a stroke after the incident, could no longer afford the rental of the flat and was forced to move into the storeroom with his family and relatives. 

Koay said he had fallen off his machine after feeling dizzy due to hypertension on his way to work. 

His wife Tan Siew See, 46, said after the incident, her husband stopped working and they could no longer afford the RM450 rental of their flat in Farlim. 

“We have no other choice but to move to the 3.6-metre by 2-metre storeroom with our son, aunt and two of her nieces,” she said, adding that they had to pay a RM180 monthly rent for the place. 

Tan, a cashier at a shopping complex in Penang said the house owner had asked them to move out from the house after they did not pay the rent for several months. 

She added that last week, the roof outside the door of the storeroom collapsed due to heavy rain, and the owner had refused to repair the roof.  

“My monthly salary of RM675 is not enough to cover our monthly expenses of about RM600,'' she said, adding that her 20-year old son was still schooling. 

“I still owe a private hospital RM3,500 for my husband's medical fees, which I pay the hospital RM50 every month. On top of that, I have to get new medication for my husband every three months,” she told reporters after Kampong Kolam assemblyman Lim Gim Soon and his service team members handed over a cheque for RM300 to Koay. 

Also present was Penang Municipal Council's infrastructure and traffic committee alternate chairman Khoo Gaik Tee. 

Lim urged the state government to look into Koay's problems and allocate a low-cost unit at the River Road flat to enable them to rent the unit as soon as possible.  

He said there were 30 vacant units at the River Road flats and another 30 units at Rifle Range flats, and yet about 40 people at his constituency had been waiting for more than a year for the outcome of their application. 

“The state housing selection committee, chaired by State Secretary Datuk Khalid Ramli has not called for a meeting for more than a year now, as he is too busy with other duties. 

“If the committee does not call for a meeting within two weeks, I will write a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to alert him about the problems faced by the needy people here, especially after the Repeal of the Rent Control Act,'' he added.  

Lim also urged the state government to construct more low-cost houses for the poor. 

He said those who want to donate could send their cheques made payable to Koay Eng Huat @ Soon Eng Huat to the state MCA headquarters at 15, Jalan Pahang, 10400, Penang.  

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