The ups and downs of helping others

A serving of kindness: Lee making sure the triplets are well fed at the Macallum Street Flats in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: It seems like there is not a single group of people that Lee Thuan Chye hasn’t helped in Penang.

The poor, juvenile delinquents, sickly old folks, the elderly abandoned by their children, sufferers of serious diseases and single mothers have all benefited from his kind deeds.

“I know the pain of not having parents to care for you.

“My father left my seven siblings and I when I was eight years old,” said the 59-year-old at his house in Macallum Street.

It has been 20 years since Lee started his humanitarian service, staunchly believing in going the extra mile to help others.

He set up a trust fund years ago to help a set of infant triplets whose parents could not care for them.


Today, RM1,000 from the fund contributes each month towards the triplets’ educational and personal needs.

“My aim is to sustain the fund until 2026 when they are 18,” said Lee.

Unfortunately, he also gets a fair share of brickbats to go along with his blessings.

“You see, whatever I do – from raising funds to donating in kind – everything is accounted for,” he said.

“Any extra money gathered from a do­­nation drive is used to help others in need.”

Some people demand that the excess money collected on their behalf or a loved one should also be given to the three children.

“But I can’t do that. Once the required sum for a particular person has been achieved, the excess is deposited into a special account to help others,” he said.

Lee is the secretary of the SK Li Tek Ex-Pupils Association in Macallum Street, through which he raises money for uniforms and educational materials.

He also helps old folks by raising funds for their food and clothing.

“My work will continue as there are so many people out there who are in need of help,” said Lee, who works at a government agency.

Politics , lee thuan chye


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