by Aida Aziz
IPOH: A mother and her son have been enduring years of living in a dwelling inundated with wastes and filth, highlighting their urgent need for a more habitable residence.
The dire circumstances have led the 46-year-old Erwan Dahari to abandon employment to care for his 77-year-old mother, Miram Kadir, who is in a frail state.
Adding to the hardship, Erwan himself acknowledges undergoing treatment for stress or mental pressure in Tanjung Rambutan and is categorised as a person with mental disabilities (OKU).
The second of three siblings elaborated that their sole reliance on the monthly assistance of RM300 from Baitulmal is inadequate, particularly considering the monthly rent of RM250.
“We’ve been residing here for seven years. I previously worked at a nearby factory but had to resign due to my mother’s advanced age and her current state of senility.
“While my siblings, one in Klang and another in Ipoh, offer occasional assistance by cleaning the house, their financial circumstances are challenging as well. Although some have suggested placing my mother in a care facility for the elderly, as long as I am here, I will endure the difficulties of taking care of her.
“Besides the modest assistance from Baitulmal and occasional food deliveries from nearby neighbours, there is no other form of support. Frankly, if I follow my heart, sustaining this way of life is beyond our means,” he shared during an interview at their residence near Flat Taman Silibin.
A glimpse inside their home would reveal the harsh living conditions, especially for the elderly mother who sleeps without basic amenities such as a mattress, pillow, and blanket, exacerbating the challenges during cold weather. Rainwater penetrates the house through the dilapidated windows and ceilings, further worsening the situation.
“The RM300 assistance from Baitulmal is insufficient, as it needs to cover rent, electricity, and water. At times, there isn’t enough for meals, and it’s the kindness of neighbours that helps us put food on the table.
“The house is in deplorable condition – the toilet is clogged, and water spills inside. While I do attempt to dispose of the garbage, in my current state of pressure, I find it challenging, especially while caring for my mother.
“I fear returning to the stresses of the past, and the illness resurfacing. I can’t handle contemplating too many problems,” Erwan explained, having previously resided in Manjoi.
In a heartfelt plea, Erwan expressed a desire for a more comfortable dwelling for both himself and his mother.
“If possible, I genuinely desire a better place, for the well-being of my mother. While I have considered finding another residence, my health condition and unemployment make it challenging to secure alternative accommodation, forcing us to remain in these dire circumstances,” he added.
A neighbour, identified as Ina, testified to the friendly nature of the mother and child, insisting that they never caused any disturbance in the community.
“They are always polite and friendly. I learned about their situation from another neighbour here. It’s heartbreaking to witness the dire state of their home, and I hope assistance is provided for the grandmother and her son,” she shared.
Meanwhile, Wan Noorashikin Noran, Chairman of Pertubuhan Puteri Kebajikan Negeri Perak, who was present at the scene to deliver assistance, remarked that she received information from a local neighbour.
“Considering the state of the grandmother’s house, it seems the problem stems from her son’s (Erwan) health. We need to help them secure a comfortable place to live.
“I received a call from a neighbour here informing me that the grandmother needs disposable diapers and batik fabric. Seeing the pictures of the house, it looks extremely poor. Today, coming here and witnessing the conditions inside the house is shocking – there’s not even a place to sit or sleep.
“We will try our best to provide food and clothing for the grandmother. Additionally, I will seek assistance from the local State Assembly Member (ADUN),” she stated.
For further information or assistance for the two siblings, please contact Wan Noorashikin Noran at 012-509 2557.