Friday, November 21, 1997
People With Grit and Determination
By Elaine Jeyakumar
Full of grit and determination. This would be the most apt way to describe
this group of people with disabilities who are under the assistance
of the Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah for the disabled.
Without the use of limbs, whether by accident or by birth, these people
are the epitome of the "don't give up" idiom.
Living a life without the use of any one of our four limbs is not easy
to say the least.
But instead of wallowing in self-pity, these people have called on the
strengths within them for another shot at life.
Kok Chin Seong, 30, is one such person.
A polio victim whose illness rendered him unable to walk, the gutsy
man has overcome this disability, and lead a normal life by marrying
and having children.
He takes himself around town on a motorcycle with a sidecar, selling
Big Seep tickets at various pasar malam in and around Ipoh.
Trained by Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah to be independent, Kok loads and
unloads his wheelchair onto his sidecar by himself suing his arms and
"I go around the city myself and am self-dependent," he says with a
Cheong Choon alias Cheong Chee is another paraplegic who has the use
of a sidecar.
The 62-year-old lives by himself and makes a living cutting vegetables
for a restaurant in the city.
Losing a limb can be a terrifying experience as Arunasalam Munusamy
and Krishnamoorthy Kulandayappan found out. Both victims of motorcycle
accidents with a lorry and car respectively, they each lost a leg in
Married with four children, Arunalsalam, 45, makes a ling by selling
newspapers at the Buntong market while Krishnamoorthy has had to change
jobs form being a crane operator to doing less strenuous work at the
Despite their experiences, both men are still living life to the fullest,
refusing to allow their handicap get the better of them.
The Yayasan is a foundation specially founded to help people with disabilities.
Besides its base in Ipoh, it has started numerous centres in Perak,
heling them get off the ground in their quest to render help to as many
disabled people as possible.
The Sungai Siput association for the special people is on such centre.
A model community centre, members take leading roles in identifying
and promoting equal opportunities as well as providing the necessary
resources within the community for people requiring such assistance.