BY: Michelle Liew
Emotions enveloped the family of A Nathendrex, 48, as he recalled the glory of a certain person who gave him a family, a place to live for almost four years.
Nathendrex along with his wife, M Mageswary, 40, and their only child, N Thiru, 12, who is crippled in both legs since birth, previously lived like homeless.
However, the situation changed due to the kindness of their adoptive mother, Noraini Zainal Abidin, 63, who was willing to give them a stay at her house in Kampung Sri Parit, Lukut.
Nathendrex said, however, he has not worked for the past two months due to stomach ailments while his wife has been suffering from vision problems since last year due to chronic diabetes.
“Before, we were nomadic and lived in an empty house that was left behind, but the ‘mother’ took us and gave us her house to live in and she was willing to live with her son in Kuala Lumpur.
“Sometimes they come back here to visit us because we live in poverty, apart from many electrical appliances damaged due to flash floods at the end of last year,” he said when met at his house, yesterday afternoon.
He said, to cover daily expenses, he collects scrap metal for sale. The income he earns is uncertain, which is between RM30 to RM50 a day.
“This covers the daily expenses and motorcycle oil. However, before going out to earn a living, I have to cook so that my wife and children do not go hungry at home, or else they have to wait for me to return with ready-made food.
“I used to go out from morning to evening but there were no items (scrap metal) for me to sell and we were hungry all day, but we are used to the situation,” he said.
Nathendrex said his only child, Thiru, previously could not walk but since undergoing surgery when he was seven years old, he has been able to walk.
“Even though he is disabled I am relieved, he can already walk and help his mother at home when I go out looking for sustenance.
I’m proud of him and he has never complained of being tired of doing housework.
“I also hope to get monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) to ease the burden of our family because I have no fixed income while my wife and children are disabled,” he said.
He added that he was moved when Noraini, who was considered like a mother, returned with him child to see his family’s situation.
At the same time, they contacted various parties to apply for assistance for electrical items damaged by the floods such as refrigerators and washing machines for the needs of the Nathendrex family.
“Unexpectedly, some NGOs (non-governmental organizations) came to donate kitchen items, refrigerators and washing machines, and we even received visits from several other parties who also donated.
Noraini stated that she does not regret housing the family. “I let them live here because they have no place to live and, his wife and only child are disabled.
“I can live with my children while taking care of my two young grandchildren. I came back because I found out that many electrical items have been damaged since the floods hit late last year,” she said.
She said she was relieved to learn that many parties came down to help ease the burden of Nathendrex and his family.
“Many also wonder why I am willing to give my house to a non-Muslim family but for me we must have a respectful attitude despite different religions and races,” she emphasised.