GEORGE TOWN: He may just be another lottery ticket peddler but to the disabled community, Wong Tin Choi is a prominent figure who has fought to protect their rights.
The 58-year-old founder of Caring Rehabilitation Society of PWD, Penang, who is wheelchair-bound, said he was determined to help those in need following an accident 44 years ago, which left him paralysed from the waist down.
“I was only 14 when I injured my spine.
“When I became paralysed after the accident, a tremendous amount of support poured in for me and my family.
“I felt touched by the kindness from so many people.
“It spurred me to want to help others,” he said.
Wong started Caring Rehabilitation Society in 2013 to protect the rights of physically disabled persons in Pulau Tikus and roped in friends as volunteers.
“Currently, we have about 50 volunteers who are aged between 18 and 60 years old.
“We offer services and create public awareness on the needs and capabilities of physically disabled persons,” he said.
In recognition of his contributions to society and the needy community, Wong was awarded the Darjah Johan Negeri (DJN) at the investiture ceremony to mark Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas’ 81st birthday at Dewan Sri Pinang here yesterday.
“For over 10 years, I’ve sold thousands of lottery tickets, but have never won anything for myself.
“This award is like hitting a jackpot and means so much to all of us,” he said.
Wong, who was the chairman of Penang Society of Disabled Persons in 2003 and 2004, is currently its adviser.
He is also a committee member of Penang Cheshire Home.
He is married to an office clerk and they have a daughter.
A total of 877 recipients received their honours this year.