Lee Kong Wah, 50, is no longer the cheery old bachelor who eked out a living selling ice cream. With an ice box strapped on the backseat of his trusty old motorbike Lee would travel in and around Tambun selling his icy goodies. He made enough to keep his mother and him out of harm’s way.
But that was a year ago. An infection on his right foot, to which he gave scant regard, returned to haunt him. The wound festered and soon he became immobile having to resort to a wheelchair to move about. That was when his problems started.
Out of work and having an aging mother to support, Lee became despondent. He sought the help of the welfare department and was given financial aid to tide things over. The RM150 monthly stipend he receives from the welfare department is insufficient. “My monthly medical bill alone is over RM200. I don’t have enough to buy food,” he told Ipoh Echo. “Sometimes I have to beg from my neighbours. Fortunately, they are very caring.” The pair live in a dilapidated house, which has seen better times, at Batu 6, Tambun.
Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU), after knowing of Lee’s plight, set about to help the poor man out of his misery. “The foundation will provide Lee with a RM5,000 microcredit to get him on his feet again,” said Dato’ Zainal Abdidn Omar, Chief Executive Officer of YBU. Lee expects to be fully recovered soon and pines for his old job. “The motorbike and ice box need to be repaired. The RM5,000 loan will come in handy,” he exclaimed.
Lee is in for another surprise, the foundation is looking into ways to improve his living quarters. “We’ll allocate RM15,000 under the Housing Infra Programme to replace the walls and the roof,” said Dato’ Zainal.
Readers wishing to donate to the well being of Lee and his mother can do so by calling YBU at 05-255 5945/255 5946 or drop by the foundation’s office at Aras D-2-1, Greentown Square, Jalan Dato’ Seri Ahamad Said, 30450 Ipoh. All forms of aid are welcome.