Living in Constant Fear


Fifty-three-year-old Ishah Sampol, a single mother, lost her husband three years ago. Along with her four children, she lives in a house that is about to fall apart.

The dilapidated house, according to Ishah, attracts snakes because of the thick undergrowth surrounding it. It nearly cost her life once.

“One night while on my way to the toilet, I almost stepped on a king cobra that had found refuge in the kitchen. Luckily, the reptile withdrew before it could do her any harm.

“We live in constant fear of snakes and other harmful creatures lurking in the dark. Equally worrying is when it rains, as the living room will be flooded. We’ve to remain awake while waiting for the water to subside,” she told Ipoh Echo when met at her home recently.

According to Ishah, every month she receives RM100 from the state social welfare department and RM350 from the Perak Islamic Religious Council and Malay Customs department. Ishah works as a part-time office cleaner and is paid RM250 a month.

“My combined monthly income of RM700 is barely enough to meet my daily expenses and my children’s school fees.

“Luckily, the house owner doesn’t charge me rental. He only wants me to take good care of the house and repair it when necessary. However, I cannot afford that,” she lamented.

Her eldest son, Mohd Ikhtimal, 24, stopped schooling before completing Form 2. He sells used items for recycling. The money he earns is just enough to keep him going.

Her second son, Mohd Izzuddin Syahwal, 20, is studying at Kolej Uniti Negeri Sembilan and is supported by her working sister.

Mohd Ikwan Hafizi, 19, her third son, is still looking for a job while the youngest, Mohd Izhar, is in Form 5.

“We can get by with whatever I earn but beyond that is a struggle. Our meals consist of rice, salted fish, eggs and the occasional vegetables. We’ve to forego new clothing for the recent hari raya because I have none to spare.

“My immediate concern is the safety of my house. It needs to be repaired, especially the roof which is leaking badly, the rickety walls and the rotten floor. I hope some kind Samaritan will come to my aid in my hour of need,” she said rather despondently.

Readers wishing to help can call Ishah Sampol at 017 541 9957 or visit her at her house at Kampung Kepayang, Fair Park, Ipoh. You can also make a contribution by depositing your money into CIMB saving account No: 76 22 12 53 75. Any form of assistance is appreciated.

Rosli Mansor

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