Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Crying Shame!

Poverty has forced a senior citizen in Desa Jeram Batu, near Kuala Lipis, to live in a chicken coop.

Shamsiah Samat, 57, has been living with dozens of chickens and geese for four years. She rears them to make extra money.

"I used to stay with relatives, but I moved out when they asked me to pay rent."

Before that, she had lived in a squatter house near the Pahang Club House. Built by her late father, it had collapsed eight years ago.

"Before that, my family lived in a rakit house (boat house) but it was swept away during the floods in 1971."

She said her father had tried to apply for state land but was not successful. He died at the age of 98 in 1993.

Shamsiah, who is a spinster, said she was told that she was not entitled to apply for a house under the hard core poor housing programme because she was not a single mother.

"They said I must own a piece of land before I can get the cash aid to build a house."

Shamsiah who is entitled to RM100 in monthly aid from the Welfare Department claimed that, sometimes, she did not receive the money.

"I rent this chicken coop for RM50 a month but there are times when the owner does not ask for the rent."

Shamsiah leaves her home at 7am every day to go to work in a grocery store and returns around 7pm.

"I have no choice but to walk to the town every day because I only get paid RM13 daily," she said, adding that her wish was to own a proper house before she dies.

WTF! Living in a chicken coop and paying rent for it! Even chickens don't want to live in chicken coops anymore. Man, sometimes I am really disappointed with the authorities (that would be putting it mildly). Come Ramadhan next month and we will have a lot of our Muslim friends going overboard with the breaking of fast at fancy restaurants/hotels. Shiiit..what a contrast that is going to be.

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