Ex-para-athlete won seven gold and three silver medals for M'sia. Now, she sells tissues in Bukit Bintang.
Published on: Monday, January 17, 2022
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A 2020 photo of Koh in her wheelchair selling tissues and covers. (Photo: MyKMU)
Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia's former para-athlete Koh Lee Peng won seven gold and three silver medals for the nation but now she has to fend for herself on the streets by selling pocket tissues according to a report.

The former swimmer represented Malaysia at the Asean Para Games from 2001 to 2005 and in 2015 was crowned Penang's Best Paralympic Sportswoman, reported social news site says.com.

In 2017, the Penang State Sports Council named Koh the 2016 Female Paralympian of the Year.

Recently, wheelchair-bound Koh was spotted selling tissues in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur wearing a national football team-themed t-shirt.

She has been making a living there since 2019, previously she was selling tissues in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

Koh said she is used to being accused of being a syndicate member or a foreigner trying to steal a living from the locals by selling tissues on the streets despite a newspaper clipping posted on her streetshop saying she was a national para-swimmer.

File photo of Koh (right) during one of her Asean Para Games outings. (Photo: Astro Awani)

She would show her MyKad to such people to prove she was a Malaysian but stopped doing so after someone snatched the document from her and ran away with it.

"Of course, I'm disappointed with people's perception of me. I'm trying to earn an honest living by selling tissue paper. I'm not asking for donations. Many people look down on what I do. They don't know that I was a former para-athlete," says.com reported her as saying.

She used to hold a job in Penang but quit because the building was not disabled friendly - it had no lift.

Now, Koh makes about RM800 a month from selling tissues and receives RM300 in monthly assistance from the National Athlete Welfare Foundation.

Someone tweeted about Koh recently, which broke many hearts and angered netizens who said the nation's sport heroes deserve better.

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