Single mother Loh given help to kick-start business

Loh Siew Hong. -Screengrab from Facebook

PETALING JAYA: Single mother Loh Siew Hong's dream to have her own food stall business gets a helping hand from Wanita MCA.

"Loh's tenacious spirit in overcoming domestic violence and forced separation from her children makes her an exemplary role model for all other women trapped in a similar predicament.

"As it is important to move forward, Wanita MCA and Beliawanis MCA exchanged ideas with Loh on strategic planning for the future for the single mother and her twin daughters and son,” said Wanita MCA national chairperson Datuk Heng Seai Kie.

Wanita MCA said that it hopes to help Loh - who was recently reunited with her three children - through its Women Emancipation & Empowerment Agenda (2Es).

Heng said that Loh had explained that the expenses incurred through her travel through Peninsular Malaysia to look for her children and her legal fees have almost depleted her savings.

"As she intends to start life anew for her children and herself, she hopes to delve into operating a food stall," she said in a statement on Sunday (Feb 27).

She added that she met Loh at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (Feb 24) and that following discussions, Wanita MCA and Beliawanis MCA recommended that Loh set up a stall or a food truck as a business.

Heng said that MCA will do its best to help Loh make this business a reality.

"Irrespective of the option that Loh reaches and the location she chooses, Wanita MCA and Beliawanis will help her fulfill her dreams as much as possible," said Heng.

"These include assisting to apply for a micro-credit loan from Kojadi, licensing from the related local council, and fundraising to enable Loh to secure the capital needed to start her food business," she added.

Heng also said that Beliawanis will also help Loh in branding her dishes to reach higher publicity, adding that Loh is expected to come up with a business plan and decide within a week.

She explained that as Wanita MCA emphasises the 2Es agenda, the division felt it was important to impart opportunities for Loh to be independent.

"Arrangements are being made for Loh to delve into entrepreneurship to be self-reliant, live confidently once again and most of all, to provide and fend for her children and thereby serve as a role model for women in modern times," said Heng.

To alleviate Loh's financial burdens, a cheque of RM5,000 was handed to Loh by Wanita MCA during the meeting with the presence of Beliawanis MCA chief Ivone Low Yi Wen and Datuk Lee Yew Meng who is representing an NGO.

On Feb 21, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Loh’s habeas corpus application and ordered her children to be released from the Social Welfare Department’s care and back into her custody.

After her divorce in 2019, she was granted sole custody of the children by the High Court.

However, Loh, an alleged domestic violence victim, lost contact with her children for three years.

He ex-husband, an Indian-Muslim convert, took the children to Perlis and arranged for them to be converted to Islam.

He has since been arrested for a drug offence and is now in prison in Kelantan.

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