Tuesday, June 7, 2011
This is a common house in Kuala Lumpur and in other parts of Malaysia.
The dilapidated structure where Rosnia Marambal and her three children call home sweet home.
This is a classic example of the abjact poverty still faced by Sabahans in the interior of the state, even after more than 50 years of independence.
The story here as sourced from the Star Online.
When teacher Zahari Mohamad saw that one of his pupils was a slow learner, he became curious about the boy. One day, he asked the boy if he could follow him home.
The teacher was in for a shock.
The nine-year-old boy, Frederik, his sisters Flora Tai Chong, 14, Norhayati Maratim, 11, and their widowed mother Rosnia @ Annie Marambal, 36, were living in abject poverty.
Home for them is a rickety shack in Kampung Kandawayon in Kudat district, about 180km from Kota Kinabalu.
Since her husband's sudden death in January 2011, Rosnia has taken on any job she could lay her hands on from rubber tapping to plucking vegetables to feed her children.
Rosnia, whose family had been living in the dilapidated shack for three years, said their situation took a turn for the worse when her husband died of electrocution in January 2011.
She said she earned a daily wage of bet-ween RM10 and RM20 as an oil palm estate labourer or by helping villagers in their fruit orchards.
“I have to give my children RM3 a day, which means most of the time, we only eat wild vegetables with rice,” she said, adding that she had to fork out RM30 a month in schoolbus fare for her eldest daughter Fiona Tai Chong, 14, a SMK Sikuati student.
Her two other children Norhayati Maratim, 11, and Frederik, 9 are pupils at SK Parapat.
Rosnia said she was still waiting for a reply to her application for assistance under the Hardcore Poor Household Heads scheme in the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry's eKasih programme, which she had submitted a year ago.
Meanwhile, help is beginning to trickle in for Rosnia and her three children, after their plight was highlighted by The Star.
Among the first few to lend a hand was the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia when its state president Datuk Naomi Chong visited Rosnia at her home on Sunday, 5th June 2011.
Apart from handing over food supplies for about a month, Chong presented the family with a RM2,500 donation, partly contributed by Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the association president.
Chong told Rosnia the money had been collected during the association's annual general meeting in Penang last week.
Financial boost: Chong presenting the RM2,500 cheque to Rosnia at her home in Kampung Kandawayon, Kudat, Sabah, East Malaysia on Sunday 5 June 2011
She said Rosmah and delegates at the meeting had decided to pitch in to help the family upon reading about their plight in The Star newspaper.
Meanwhile a new house is going to be built for the poor family, as pledged by the Opposition's Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PKR Supreme Council Member and the Ketua Cabang PKR for Kota Kinabalu, Christina Liew as shown in the video below.
God bless Rosnia and her family.