Issue 105 of Ipoh Echo highlighted the plight of a virtually-blind man George Ooi Ban Gua (popularly known by his nickname Blue) and his dog Sunday, who was living under a tree near the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) pondok in Ipoh Garden. Not only was he subjected to the wiles of the weather but even his meagre belongings such as his tooth brush and toothpaste have been stolen by drug addicts.
Moved by his plight, Ipoh YMCA President, Dato’ Daniel Tay, offered a room in the staff quarters of YMCA to Blue where he is now comfortably ensconced.
Prior to this move, good Samaritans around Ipoh had been busy in easing his suffering in other ways. A month ago, Blue went for an eye operation carried out by Dr. S. S. Gill, a resident consultant ophthalmologist in Fatimah Hospital. The operation which was performed for free by Dr. Gill has resulted in Blue recovering 80% of his sight. The rest of the hospital expenses were paid by Integrated Rubber Corporation as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
When Blue went for the operation his faithful dog Sunday was handed over to a friend. He said that occasionally he misses his dog.
Blue is thankful to a Mrs. Woon who helped him while he was living under the tree. She still buys provisions and clothes for him and occasionally gives pocket money as well. Blue still does his own cooking and said that the staff of YMCA are kind to him.
He says the place is peaceful and quiet and likes his new ‘home’. He is grateful to all those who helped him, particularly Dr Gill, who restored his sight.