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Taking care of the homeless and helpless elderly

  • Thanks to public donations in cash and kinds, Mak Swee Old Folks' Home has been able to offer better services to the helpless old people. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • The old people at Mak Swee Old Folks' Home live together happily like a big family. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Hwang has pledged to take care of the old people until the end of their lives. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Hwang (back row, L2) has set up the old folks' home to accommodate homeless and helpless old people. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Hwang's benevolence has been largely inspired by his late mother. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

MUAR, Oct 10 (Sin Chew Daily) -- His late mother was the inspiration and motivation behind his benevolent effort of setting up an old folks' home to accommodate homeless and helpless elderly people in Muar.

Hwang Min Fah, 57-year-old oil palm estate supervisor at Serom near here, has devoted himself to the care of helpless elderly people.

In 2014, when his then 2-year-old grandson was suffering from Thalassemia, he received generous donations from members of the public to pay for his grandson's operation. The incident prompted to him to help other people in return.

During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Huang emphasized that he set up the old folks' home to honor a pledge and mission he made to himself, hoping that this initiative would perpetuate the good deeds and caring spirit of his late mother, besides taking it as a token of appreciation for the generosity of the society.

Inspired by late mother

Last August, he made up his mind to rent two linked old houses to accommodate homeless and helpless old people, and named the building “Mak Swee Old Folks' Home” after his mother Lim Swee, who died six years ago at the age of 79.

“Since I was very young, my mother kept telling me to be respectful to the elderly, especially those who were helpless.

“She often told me to help her bring money and necessities to the poor old people in the village.

“Her selfless love has influenced me a lot.”

Mak Swee Old Folks' Home started with only six inmates, and today, there are 14 at the center, aged between 49 and 97, including a 65-year-old Malay man.

Hwang said initially he did everything on his own, forking out RM1,200 a month to pay for the rent and about RM200 for utility so that homeless old people could have a roof over their heads.

However, after his good deeds were published on social media, donations in cash and kinds started to pour in.

“Today, we have kindhearted people sending in meals for the inmates. We even have volunteers coming to help clean up the premises, provide free haircut service or medical care, not to mention occasional visits from NGOs which also donate chairs and tables as well as washing machine, making this place a well-equipped and comfortable home for the old people.”

Hwang said all the old people living there were allowed to move freely in and out of the center.

“They are like my family, and I will take care of them as far as I am still able to do so.”

He recalled that he received some RM600,000 of donations to pay for the operation of his 2-year-old grandson in Taiwan five years ago. His grandson is now seven, and healthy.

“My greatest wish to get some kindhearted people to donate a piece of land so that we can have a bigger old folks home to accommodate more people in need.

 

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