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GEORGE TOWN, April 19 -- A family of three was left homeless when their house was destroyed in a fire, just a week before Ramadan.
Effandy Abdul Rahim, 32, said he could not afford to build a new house to replace the one which belonged to his family for five generations that was razed by fire on April 6, due to his health problems and unsteady income.
Currently, Effandy, his wife Salbilla Supriyadi, 41, and their only child Nuur Zulaieca, aged two, are putting up at a furniture factory store, located next to his burnt home for free, courtesy of his neighbours.
“I am not hoping for help in the form of money but I want people to help me to rebuild my house before Aidilfitri. We are forced to climb a metal staircase to get to the store on the first floor. I am worried as it could pose the risk of falling down the stairs.
“I am also seeking the cooperation of the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) to reconnect my water supply to enable us to take our bath, cook and make my child’s milk. Currently, I get water supply from my neighbour’s toilet,” he told reporters when met at the site of his house in Air Itam.
Effandy said although the state government had offered him a temporary house for two months at Taman Free School, he was forced to turn it down thinking of the money that had to be spent to move there.
He now depends on the monthly income of less than RM1,000 he made from selling mangoes collected in the area around his house while his wife works as a caregiver for a disabled person for RM30 to RM40 a day.
“I also cannot perform heavy work because of my heart condition which requires me to get daily injection at a nearby clinic. It is not easy for me to go to the clinic and keep an eye on the site of my house as several people have intruded into the compound several days ago,” he said.
The family’s plight had caught the attention of Penang Hindu Association (PHA) president P. Murugiah who visited them and gave them some food.
“He cried when he called me for help. His sister once told me that they even broke their fast by eating instant noodles only,” he said.
Those who wish to help the family can contact Effandy at 01110561130.