2022 Charity ProgrammeMalaysia Charity Programme

More Disturbing News of City Poor

Last September, we covered 10 city poor households. Two houses are considered to be quite ok as their livelihoods appear to have marginally improved with their younger generations able to hold on to regular paying jobs which are hard and laborious. This at least, can support their parents and other members of the suffering families.

For this trip in Tabuan Cemerlang (Selipar Putus), Yayasan Pillar team was quite fortunate to have Hj. Sidek and his Community Welfare team guided and accompanied us throughout the raining afternoon. Hj. Sidek is the village chief and very knowledgeable on matters concerning his community and general village happenings.

All Food Aid Yayasan Pillar has been receiving for many years are kind support from companies which also wish to share the burden of the deprived members of Malaysia. Thank you all.
Apart from handing over Food-Aids which is the core activity of Yayasan Pillar. Yayasan Pillar’s other objective each time when visiting city poor villages is to understand the Economic and Social problems faced by the city poor families. We focus on those city poor who had applied for assistance from the Family and Welfare Ministry but until now still have not received assistance. The 2nd group who had applied and after so many attempts to follow-ups still received no replies which led them to just give up. The 3rd city poor group is those who have little or no idea how to go about applying as briefings by Family and Welfare Ministry officers are lacking coherence and applicants are not allowed to keep copies of their applications for them to refer. To know, they are required to log in to view but many village folks are still relatively illiterate or do not have the facility to do so.

Village chief Mr Hj. Sidek explained the situation at Puan Masniah’s house

Puan Masniah, 60+ years is a single mother and has no job and just one of those poor. She claimed she receive nothing from Family and Welfare Ministry.
Hj. Sidek said on many occasions assistance received by city village poor come from their local representative. This village is represented by Dato YB Hj. Hazlan. But these hand-outs are given out when there are celebrations of some sort which may take place once or twice a year. Each would receive Rm30 to Rm40. Hj. Sidek said total households at kpg Selipar Putus is 112. Question asked: how this 112 city poor survive for the rest of the year for many years?

Yayasan Pillar’s President interviewing Raja Fairus

Raja Fairus and her 4 young children lived in a torn-down shed she and her husband inherited from her father in-law who had lived in similar deplorable conditions for years before he died. The whole shed is not “LIVEABLE”. Leakage from rotten roofs right down to collapsible walls.

Messy floor
Narrow pathway to the kitchen area with weak floor
Exposed area of kitchen without roof
Kitchen floor gets wet during rain every time
Wet and messy kitchen floor
Mr Sharbini with a mentally handicapped son under his care

Sharbini is a casual worker and earns Rm700 only when and if he gets a job to do. He does casual job 3 or four times a years. His son, 19 years old is mentally Handicapped and he receives assistance from Ministry of Health for his medicine and food. This assistance helps to support his father to live on. Again, how does this family survive the rest of the year for many years?

Mr Khalid explaining his situation in front of his old house

Another city poor family is Khalid. He is a committee member of the village welfare community. Khalid applied for assistance from welfare department 5 years ago and now 2022 he still receive nothing. With help from his friends and relatives he built a small box like shed at the back of his old house which is about to fall over.
Hj. Sidek said previously unliveable houses were repaired through assistance from the office of Datuk Sri Wan Junaidi, their local representative then. Now he said only 3 unliveable houses per village are qualified to be repaired. What about the rest of city poor whose homes about to fall off? This, said Hj Sidek have to wait for the housing scheme which is under way built for them. Question is when? 2023, 2024 or wait Indefinitely?

Sitting on the floor while talking as Puan Soraia has difficulty in standing up

Considering the other city poor families, Puan Soraia is considered to be ok because her husband has a full-time job and receive a regular monthly income though small. Puan Soraia and her family too receive nothing from Family and Welfare Ministry. Her poor health is common among city poor families. Soraia just had a surgery on her feet result of long suffering Diabetes. She also has high blood pressure and she can only moves around outside in wheel chair.

Puan Alliza expressed her concern in getting her daughter motivated to go to school
Her physically handicapped sister

Apart from poverty and not receiving any kind of assistance from Family and Welfare Ministry, Puan Alliza’s problem is compounded by her daughter who for several years does not go to school. Sadly She gave up on sending her daughter to school. Her youngest sister, 18 years old is physically handicapped. Throughout past 12 years of work for City Poor families Yayasan Pillar encountered nearly every 5th or 6th households covered by us are burdened by children who are either mentally or physically handicapped. The situation is further exacerbate by her being a single mother, not working and no income to depend on. However, she is somewhat lucky because she has a father who has a house where she and her children can take shelter.

A member of PBB Youth doing the explanation

Yayasan Pillar talked to a senior PBB Youth member of the village. He said 15% of local youth have jobs or have some sorts of productive occupations, though irregular. They do small stalls type business like selling burgers, selling fruits and vegetables. So what about the continuing survival of the majority of 112 households?
And what does the future hold for the teenaged Youth who are now in school but Unable to read or write correctly? Please refer to our previous videos which covered Yayasan Pillar’s interview with the Principal of Tabuan High School.

Sarawak is a Rich State and Government’s allocation to Ministry of Family and Welfare is generous and big enough to care for well being of the city poor. Question is: why do we still see so many deprived citizens burdened by poverty, poor health and Illiteracy??? This sad phenomenon Involving several thousands Citizens is seen at every single village Yayasan Pillar visited and helped during last 12 years.

In the 12 years Yayasan Pillar has been helping deprived city poor families in Sarawak, in Cambodia, in Indonesia, in Pakistan, in Bangladesh and in Uzbekistan, we find Uzbekistan system of managing city poor is more systematic and auditable. Each district chief is allocated an office with staff and hours open for local people to come and meet their local officers to discuss local issues or complaints concerning local families.

Many office spaces in Tashkent for local Welfare officers to work from are sponsored by private companies. In some cases staff’s salaries are sponsored by private companies. This requires additional accountability on part of officers.

Meeting in Uzbekistan
Outside of office in Tashkent