THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Monday, 28 May 2007

Yah's Story: Part 2

When I got to Azman's mother's house to attend Azman's funeral, his body had already been bathed. They were almost done. Since Azman died at home, the people from the hospital were called to their home to manage his body. 2 officers from the health department were also there.

I pulled Yah aside, I needed to know who was paying for the services. I knew the amount needed was not a small amount. As I had expected, the family did not help out. To them it was Yah's responsibility to pay for the funeral of her husband. I asked Yah if she had any money, she said she just received RM100 from the welfare officers who came to visit. That's not enough. I didn't want to make it obvious to Azman's family that I was passing some money to Yah, so it was a hush hush thing... I gave it to her when the others were not looking.

I told Yah to call me once things were settled down a bit. I needed to know what her future plans were. I couldn't call her as she didn't have a phone, so she would have to call me. She had a handphone when Azman first got his EPF money, but when Azman was hospitalised and Yah needed to charge her handphone, she sought the favour of Azman's sister to help charge the phone for her. Well, the phone remained in the hands of Azman's sister since then!

The next week Yah called me. She told me she'd be "running away" to her parents home in another town during the weekend. Azman's family wouldn't let her move out. They said the children were their strong "waris" so they must remain at their kampong. Funny... how come when it came to the financial needs of these children, they never helped out, yet now they're claiming that these children were theirs. The mother's side of the family had no rights whatsover, so they claimed. They threatened Yah that if Yah took the children elsewhere, they'd lodge a police report against Yah's family. I'm not sure which school of thoughts or which laws they followed! Sigh...

They probably thought Yah was dumb. Oh how wrong they were! This woman went to the police station and lodged her own report about her in-law's threats! And no, I had nothing to do with this. My policy is never to meddle with family matters. If they needed help, I'd help (if I could). If they asked for advice, I'd give one but would still leave the decision up to them. Yah only told me about all these after she had done things herself. She even quietly arranged on her own for the transfer of her children's school. I knew about her "escape" plan only because she told me about it. She was planning to move out in the wee hours of the morning before her in-laws realised it. Moving out during the daytime would be too obvious as her house was right in front of her in-law's house. She told me her plans before hand so that I would not visit her at her old house that weekend. Wow! She had everything well planned. And the only job she ever had was as a cleaner! Not in any planning department! This was one helluva lady I must say!

But because she had to move quietly with her kids, she couldn't take along too many things with her. Just whatever necessary, including her children's schooling needs. Although she had the rights over the house, she was willing to let go for her own peace of mind. All the furnitures, bicycles and other big items had to be left behind.

As soon as she made it safely to her parent's home, she called me again. I took down her new address and phone number.

The next weekend, Yah's father went over to Yah's old house to try get some other things belonging to Yah and her children. Coincidentally, Yah's in-laws chose the same day to look for Yah at her parent's place. So when Yah's father was at her old home, Yah's in-laws were at Yah's parent's home. While Yah's father tried to get whatever that was left at the old house, Yah's mother had a big quarrel with Yah's mother-in-law. Sounds more like a TV drama don't you think? But this one's for real.

Anyway, Yah's father couldn't get anything much from the old house. All the bicycles and furnitures were gone. And Yah's in-laws couldn't bring Yah and the children back with them either. Yah wouldn't budge a bit. Funny isn't it? Her in-laws not only wanted to bring the children with them, they insisted Yah came along because they said Yah belonged to them after she married Azman. Got ah such things??! My guess was they wanted Yah to come along so that Yah would be the one who'd have to pay for all the children's needs. Somehow they treated Yah and the children as their "property" but they were not willing to pay for the "taxes". They wanted to claim their rights but didn't want to carry out their responsibilities.

Tough!

It has been a few months now. So far no action has been taken by Yah's in-laws. Yah's family may not have any fixed income, but they're so used to living a hard life, it's no big deal to them. They looked like any other happy family every time I visited them. I thought things were going fine.

That was until Yah called me last week. She needed help to withdraw her EPF and asked if she could see me next week when she comes to Ipoh for her blood test. I asked if there was any urgency for her to withdraw her EPF. I know for a fact that getting the medical report from the hospital may take some time. Yah said the landowner did not give them any time-frame but has already asked them to move out.

Landowner? I just found out that the house her family has been staying in all these years was actually built on somebody else's land. They had to pay rental for the land. They had not been paying rental for the past few months. Yah's father no longer works, and he has no pension either. So now the landowner wants them to leave as soon they can get another house.

Oh dear, one problem after another. Which reminds me, I wonder if Yah has got her welfare aid yet... I'd better check on that when I meet her next week.

22 comments:

Raden Galoh said...

Pi... Indeed, Yah is one helluva lady... But reading her plight gave me sorrow....sigh... I pray she becomes stronger as she faces the adversity in her life PI...

Mat Salo said...

I'm sure Yah ini, literally hundreds if not thousands (via your blog) are rooting for her. Just can't imagine what goes thru' her mind in face of such adversity.. just goes to show her true mettle; a real fighter, that when push comes to shove, she'll do what's necessary for her children's well being. I pray that she gets closure, a light at the end of the tunnel. The sad part, is like you said earlier, her own in-laws family (and some of the kaum hawa's in there too) are trying to take advantage of her. They want the children, but are not willing to "pay" for it... Sad, sad indeed and tragic for Yah. The only consoling thought is she has you, Pi...

Pi Bani said...

Raden Galoh,
Once I brought along a trainee buddy with me to visit Yah. We were there for only half an hour. As we got into the car to go back, the trainee said to me, "Kuat sungguh ya semangat dia?"

Just one meet and that's the impression you get. Yes, she's strong.

Pi Bani said...

Mat Salo,
Most mothers I know would do whatever necessary for the well being of their children. Only difference is, some may break down and cry along the way when they face all sorts of trials and tribulations. But Yah is still going strong... and I hope she will remain that way, if not stronger.

Anonymous said...

Semoga Yah menjadi kuat dan tabah.

Queen Of The House said...

Grrrrrr ... as I read this story, I felt like slapping the greedy hands of Yah's in-laws. It's obvious they want the children for whatever monetary gains they think they can milk out via the kids. Macam ni punya orang pun ada ka???

Betul macam cerita2 drama lah, but much better. I think I'll turn to your blog for sure to get my drama fix instead of having to suffer the bad acting and poor plots of the drama Melayu on TV :-)

I am rooting for Yah, yes!!

Pi Bani said...

Anonymous,
Aaamiiin... harap-harap begitulah!

QOTH,
Sabar, sabar! Yah dok cool je tu... janganlah you pulak yang menyinsing lengan baju... ;)

loveujordan said...

salam,

Bila lihat betapa sulit dan susah Yah jalani kehidupan yang amat penuh ranjau dan duri...I selalu terfikir masih adakah sinar untuk diri Yah dan anak-anak ????

Linda SL said...

Dear Kak Pi,
If you dont mind me asking, do you know how much is the arrears in rental owed to the landowner?

Pi Bani said...

LUJ,
InsyaAllah... sinar tetap ADA... Never ever berputus harap!!

Linda,
I don't know yet. Will only be meeting her next week. But if you ask me, the arrears in rental is just an excuse. Probably the landowner has other plans for the piece of land.

Apandi said...

lama tak sempat baca, rindulah pulak...

Anonymous said...

It is really sad that in this rich country there seems to be so many who have literally nothing. We have a welfare system of sorts, we have NGO's with some financial support, we have zakat (for Muslims) and yet we seem to be failing.

I don't think Yah should be going into her EPF for this situation. When that runs out then what?

If the landlord is not actually looking for the back-rent due then perhaps Yah and her family could look for another place and some of us who read your blog regularly could contribute to the rent - cannot be that much if around Ipoh. I think that is what Linda was hinting at? We have to provide more than moral support....

ninuk said...

sah telenova Yah , serial after telenova Lily ... apa kisah Lily ya ?

Pi Bani said...

Apandi,
Kesiaaan... busy ya?

Anonymous,
I am actually trying to think of an income generating opportunity for Yah. There are some work-at-home opportunities here in Ipoh if she's interested, but I'm not even sure if she and her parents are willing to move to Ipoh in the first place. There are too many things they need to consider.

Pi Bani said...

Ninuk,
If you ever produce any telenovelas based on the stories in this blog, don't forget to pay some money to the main characters mentioned, ok? ;)

Pi Bani said...

Oops, sorry Ninuk, haven't replied your question, have I?

Lily's children: no updates yet. Still waiting for that call...

J.T. said...

Wow.. I finally caught up with Yah's story. Sad. Once again, children were used as pawns. Luckily Yah is a strong-willed woman and has the tenacity to survive.
I hope she considers the work-at-home opportunities. If one has to survive, one will move to seek it. I can also understand about too many things to consider. sigh...

Pi Bani said...

Hi JT, got 2 parts for you to catch up with, huh? Are you still in your post-break break? :)

Anyway, let's just hope for the best for Yah and her family. This woman may be small in size, but she's sure one tough lady! If there are any interesting updates after I meet her next week, I'll post an update for the regular readers of this blog.

J.T. said...

Pi, I am almost out of my post-break break. Having a block and not able to blog right now. I may just put out little snippets here and there until I can get a full story going again. :)
Brain freeze from all I have seen, heard and talked about in the past few days. hehe

I await your update.

Pi Bani said...

JT,
I am also having some sort of blogger's block right now. Not that I've run out of stories to tell, but I don't want my readers to be fed with too much of my telenovela series... need something a bit lighter before I sock them with another round of heavy stuff. But aiyah... most of my PLWHA clients got heavy problems lah...

Anonymous said...

Dear Kak Pi,

Yes, in a way Anonymous was right. I was asking about the arrears to see if i can help, financial wise. But if u think that the landlord is just using the rental issue as an excuse, and if you are right about that, then that is another problem. I agree that some form of income generating acctivity would be a great help to Yah, especially if it was home based.
Do keep us updated.

Pi Bani said...

OK, my next posting will be an update. And yes, my gut feeling was right...