IPOH: Each year since 1999, he prepares eight ang pow, inserting RM2 in each red packet, to present to his four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren during Chinese New Year.
At the same time, Cheah Peng, 99, also makes a wish – to once again see his family.
He has a son in China and a daughter working in the United States for whom he has been saving money to visit.
“I hope to see my daughter again. I have her contact number, so I believe I will be able to find her there,” said Cheah, who is among 55 senior citizens at the Salvation Army's Perak Home for the Aged in Jelapang near here.
Yesterday, the residents of the home – aged between 67 and 103 – were feted to an early New Year celebration by the Perak Chinese Welfare Association.
They were given ang pow and mandarin oranges by the committee members of the association and treated to lunch.
Cheah, who has been at the home since 1999, said he was hoping for a miracle to have a memorable and enjoyable celebration with his family when the Year of the Monkey arrives.
He has made that wish every year since he last met his grandchildren at the funeral of his wife, Chow Keen, in 1996. Since then, his family has not contacted him, although he believed his grandchildren were still in Malaysia.
Cheah, who left China in 1928 for Bidor, about 70km from here, said he would be preparing the ang pow as usual although it was unlikely his family would join him in the festive celebration this year.
“I miss them so much although I know they don’t think of me at all,” he said, adding that he had been saving money donated by the public to buy an air ticket to America to see his daughter.
The oldest resident at the home, Leen Chow, 103, said she looked forward to celebrating Chinese New Year as many people would visit her.
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