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Composer Ooi Eow Jin’s wife touched by support


Khaw with her husband Ooi. Ooi, a composer and songwriter, collaborated with the likes of Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Datuk Sudirman Arshad in an illustrious career spanning four decades. — ANN MARIE CHANDY/The Star

Khaw with her husband Ooi. Ooi, a composer and songwriter, collaborated with the likes of Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Datuk Sudirman Arshad in an illustrious career spanning four decades. — ANN MARIE CHANDY/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Retired composer and songwriter Datuk Ooi Eow Jin’s wife, Datin Elaine Khaw, has to stop taking orders for the Chinese New Year cookies that she is selling to raise funds to care for him and their son.

Since a social media post about her cookies went viral, she has been inundated by calls and messages and is unable to cope.

“I am very touched that so many people want to help me but I alone can’t cope with all the hundreds of messages and missed calls. I didn’t get any sleep last night because I was going through all the messages,” Khaw said when The Star visited her at her home Friday morning.

Visitors were stopping by her house to buy the cookies or offer donations even during this interview.

Khaw’s husband Ooi collaborated with entertainers such as Tan Sri P. Ramlee and Datuk Sudirman Arshad in an illustrious career that spanned four decades, starting from the 1960s.

Khaw with her 54-year-old son Raymond, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 14. — ANN MARIE CHANDY/The Star 

Most recently, he played the piano at the Ritz Carlton and Majestic hotels in Kuala Lumpur.

Khaw has been the sole caregiver for both Ooi, 80, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015, and her 54-year-old son Raymond, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour 40 years ago at the age of 14.

She has hired a part-time helper to assist her during the day while she runs errands and cooks, and especially to help her husband and son to the bathroom and back.

“I can’t do it on my own. A few times while trying to help them to the bathroom, I have fallen along with them. Thankfully I didn’t injure myself too badly. No broken bones.

“Sometimes I have to call the security guard (in the housing area) to help me. I have hired full-time maids but they never stay long.

“Once, while my husband was in hospital and I was there caring from him, the maid stole a lot of our belongings, even our clothes, and ran away leaving Raymond alone,” shares Khaw,76, who remains optimistic despite the pressure of caring for two people.

Her monthly expenditure runs up to RM6,000.

Those who want to help Khaw can bank in donations to her AmBank account (Khaw Lean Kee @ Guat Kooi): 8881 0070 74883.

Ooi Eow Jin , composer , Alzheimer , brain tumour

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