Wheelchair-bound homeless man sleeps at mosque
Published on: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tawau: A senior citizen who has been sleeping at the Masjid Al-Khautar, near here, since 2011 said he did so because he did not want to trouble anyone.He said he was also used to people who are only "kind in words but not in deed".

The wheelchair-bound man who has three children living with his ex-wife said that he lived like that because it was his wish to do so.

"Even if I went back to my village at Mile 2, Sandakan, I won't be able to get a job because of my poor health," said Ontong (not his real name), in his 50s.

He previously worked at the dam project in Bakun, Sarawak, before he returned to Sabah because of his poor health.

"It is not that I wanted a wealthy life, I just want to live with a peace of mind and where it is easy to pray," he said, adding that he does not mind living at the mosque as long as there is free food distributed to people like him by Perkalas.

Ontong said he has no problem in buying his own mattress because he is a recipient of RM300 monthly assistance from the Welfare Services Department, while his wheelchair was donated to him by the Government.

He said although they were not prevented by the mosque administrator to sleep there, they were always reminded to maintain the cleanliness and ensure their things do not disturb those who come to pray.

He said recently his mobile phone was recently stolen.

Onong was one of the 60 homeless people at Masjid Al-Khautar met by reporters during a programme with the homeless and poor people organised by Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Leluhur Nusantar Negeri Sabah (Perkalas) – The Third Force – together with Kalabakan MP, Ma'mun Sulaiman and Merotai Assemblyman, Sarifuddin Hata.


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