When angels came knocking on the door in times of despair

NOT everyone gets to meet an angel in times of trouble but Maureen Yap, a former social worker, was fortunate to have met one.

Her ‘angel’ is Kuek Zhe Han, a special officer to Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who reached out to Maureen and her husband, Matthew, after hearing of their plight.

Her example, along with the example of Segambut MP, Hannah Yeoh are both worth emulating. Known to her constituents as just ‘Hanayo,’ Yeoh’s video on Mother’s Day celebration recently has gone viral.

Both women leaders are people-centric and down to earth. They have proven stellar as representatives elected by the people, for the people, and serves the people whenever help is needed.

And for Dr Wan Azizah whose moniker has endeared herself to many as Kak Wan, she has groomed her assistant well.

When the plight of a couple in their 60s from Taman Len Seng came to the knowledge of Kak Wan’s service centre in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuek helped with all the paperwork.

At some point, Kak Wan had to intervene with the application by Maureen and Matthew, especially after the couple had tried to apply for many months for their monthly subsistence from the Social Welfare Department (JKM).

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (left) with her special assistant Kuek Zhe Han

The good news came recently (on May 25) when two officers came with Kuek to meet Maureen at her home.

Thereafter, FocusM was informed of Maureen’s message thanking Kak Wan and her assistant, Kuek. While a slight editing is necessary, the gist of her message is preserved.

“Thank you very much Zhe Han for coming to fetch me to the Commissioner of Oaths,” she wrote, “then back to your PKR office to photostat a copy and walking the extra mile to treat me for lunch in spite of me wanting to treat you. Thank you for your kindness and help towards senior citizens. May God bless you with good health and provide you with all your needs.”

Even though it is only RM350 a month, Maureen told FocusM, “it is at least something to help with our retirement”.

Moreover, she said Matthew has been diagnosed of Stage 3 liver cancer. He is currently being treated in Ampang Hospital.

FocusM decided to run this story as an example worth emulating for many young people who are involved in service centres around the country helping the B40 community.

What they do for the people will make a big difference to the lives of the ordinary people. In the case of Maureen and Matthew, the help came just at the right time.

With very little savings, Maureen has to currently shoulder the responsibility of taking care of her husband of 18 years.

Matthew, who was working in a drug rehabilitation centre after being rehabilitated himself, has zero savings. Although he tried to start his own small-scale recycling business collecting old newspapers from the neighbourhood, the COVID-19 pandemic hit him below the belt.

Maureen herself had spent many years working as a social worker with Malaysian Care to reach out to sex workers plying for business in the red-light district of Bukit Bintang. – June 5, 2023

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