Thursday, April 16, 1998
Zeal for Life Wins Gritty Pong a State Award
By Fabian Louis
IPOH: Paraplegic Pong Seow Chin proved just how much the disabled can
achieve if they set their minds to a task.
For her exemplary zeal for life which is a source of encouragement to
others, she was conferred the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) by the Sultan
of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, in conjunction with his 70th birthday yesterday.
Pong, 33, paralysed from the waist down, is the first disabled person
from Sultan Idris Shah Foundation for the Disabled to receive a state
"I want other disabled people not to give up on their lives. I am one
person who very strongly believes in fate and I so not blame anyone
for what has happened to me."
"I have not given up since the day I was paralysed. I will go on with
"I am not the only one who is proud of the award but I have made the
Foundation proud too as it was the Foundation who helped to change my
life," she said.
Pong became paralysed at the age of 20 when she fell from her bed while
convalescing after giving birth to twins who were still born.
She had to stay in the hospital for four years and during that period
her husband abandoned her.
Pong said the award should be an encouragement for the disabled to stick
together and help each other.
Foundation Chairman Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam said the award bestowed on
Pong was a motivating factor to the Foundation's volunteers who were
also bestowed awards.
He said this would encourage them to work much harder as their humanitarian
services had been recognized.
"Pong has shown a great deal of courage and determination to better
herself despite her disabilities and thus is a role model for other
disabled people," he said.
She was one of the 611 recipients of awards and honors this year in
conjunction with the Sultan's birthday yesterday but would receive her's
at a later date.
Raja DiHilir Perak, Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa, who was conferred the
Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati was among the first batch of 52 recipients
to receive their awards and honors at an investiture ceremony at Istana
Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar, yesterday.