Community rallies for Sabahan hospitalised in S. Korea


KOTA KINABALU: Help is trickling in for a Sabahan hospitalised for pneumonia in South Korea after an appeal to foot his bills and get him home was highlighted in the media recently.

As of yesterday afternoon, about RM7,000 in donations had come in for 27-year-old Eddy Laimin.

That was three days after his plight hit the news.

His sister Juitah, who is currently taking care of him at Chungbuk National University Hospital in Chungbuk province, said the money came from many who had read about Eddy’s case in the newspapers and among them was Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Robert Tawik.

“We are so touched by the kindness and generosity shown to us, even from strangers,” she said, adding that Tawik contributed RM1,000.

She said the money will be used to settle part of the hospital bill.

Juitah said her family hopes that the Malaysian government would render help.

“Please help bring my brother home and continue his treatment for pneumonia back in Sabah.

“We cannot express how thankful we are to the hospital and doctors here for continuing to treat my brother despite all these problems,” she added in an interview over WhatsApp yesterday.

Asked why Eddy had chosen to stay on in South Korea after his work permit as a welder and passport expired, she said it was because he wanted to continue helping his family out financially.

“All this while, he would send money home to our parents and any of us siblings if we needed it,” Juitah said.

She also said that Eddy earns the most among the 11 siblings, who are mainly rubber tappers or housewives.

Two others work as air-conditioner installers in Johor Baru.

On netizens condemning his actions of overstaying and working without a permit after his documents expired in March and April last year, Eddy recalled that at the time, he was eager to continue to help support his family.

“I only wanted to ease my family’s financial burden because we are poor farmers, and my parents have no income as they are old and can’t tap rubber anymore,” he said in the same interview through his sister.

Eddy, who has been in hospital for over a month, said he did not expect to fall sick and be hospitalised for so long.

“I probably need to be treated in hospital for another month before the doctors tell me I am fit to fly home,” he said.

For now, he has chalked up about RM90,000 in outstanding bills.

His siblings and some relatives had come up with a small sum to settle an earlier bill when he first fell sick.

Earlier, Solidarity Anak Sabah president Sem Kulian, who was approached by the family for help, said they would continue to source for aid online and via other means.

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