JOHOR BARU: Six family members, who have been living in poverty, were shocked when enforcement officers from the Johor Housing Secretariat (SUK Perumahan) evicted them from their flat on Tuesday (April 16).
The family had failed to pay rental arrears at Flat Tasek 64, Seri Alam, here, which amounted to RM6,900, but has been granted a temporary reprieve.
Mohd Zin Mustafa, 47, said he had stopped working in Singapore after being a victim of a hit and run in 2015.
"I woke up a few days later in the hospital, where doctors told me I had a slipped disc, a broken leg and broken arm.
"I have no problem paying the rent before the accident happened, but after that, I got fired and my working permit was taken away,” he said when met at his house here on Thursday (April 18).
Mohd Zin said he did try to find another job in Singapore, but his application was rejected after he failed the medical check-up, as he had a heart problem.
”But I didn't give up; I tried again for the third time as a security guard, but only worked for a day because I was limping," he said.
Mohd Zin said it was also difficult for his wife, Eka Rosita, 40, to find a job because she is Indonesian and had to take care of their four children, aged seven to 15.
He currently works at a friend's workshop, but earns between RM10 and RM20 each day, aside from the RM500 per month aid given by Baitulmal.
"The money that we get is used to pay for our children's daily needs and food, aside from my medical expenses," he said.
Pasir Gudang MCA division chief Tan Tuan Peng said the Pakatan Harapan government should have at least gone to the ground to find out the problem, before evicting the family.
"The government should be more humane than this.
"If you don't pity the parents, it's fine, but at least have some sympathy for the children," he said, adding that MCA will find a way to help pay for the family’s rental arrears by next week.
Johor Women Development and Tourism Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said the state government would find ways to help the family.
Also evicted were 10 other families.
Liow said the rent is RM100 per month, and the tenants should have earlier talked to SUK Perumahan or approached the state government.
"All 11 houses that were sealed before have been opened again, with six families managing to settle their arrears," she said, adding that she was the first one to arrive on the scene after the eviction.