When Fuzi’s case was first referred to me about 8 or 9 years ago, she had loads of problem. After her husband died, her house was broken into by an intruder who raped her. As a result, she got pregnant, and blood tests showed she was HIV+. Precautions were then taken to reduce the risk of mother-to-child infection.
Fuzi’s case was referred to me after she gave birth to that child. Fuzi has 4 children from her marriage. Although Fuzi believed that her HIV infection was a direct result of the rape incident, all her 4 children were brought for testing as well. To everyone’s surprise, her 4th child, Izam, then only 5 years old, was found to be infected.
So, Fuzi’s HIV infection wasn’t because she was raped! Apparently her late husband used to go to Golok quite frequently with his friends. Ahh… she probably was infected by her late husband, and her husband died without even knowing he was HIV+. Fuzi herself, an Indonesian, married her late husband, a Malaysian, in Narathiwat, Thailand. But her late husband never registered their marriage in Malaysia.
Her problems started to surface after her husband died, and after the rape case.
Since her marriage wasn’t registered in Malaysia, her first 2 children, despite their birth certs indicating they’re Malaysians by virtue of having a Malaysian father, had problems getting their identity cards done. All because their father is no longer around, and the mother is not a citizen. Thank goodness, after a rather long and difficult process (with strings pulled here and there), she managed to get her sijil nikah certified and legalised, and her children managed to get their ICs done. Once that matter was settled, the following 2 children didn’t have any problems getting their ICs when they turned 12.
Her youngest, Iwan, being born without a father, cannot be considered a Malaysian citizen as he has to follow his mother’s status. With Fuzi having to renew her visa on yearly basis to stay here with her Malaysian children, Iwan remains a non-citizen. By right he should be holding an Indonesian passport to remain here, but that’s another problem. To get that passport, Fuzi will have to bring him back to Indonesia to get an Indonesian ID first. The thing is, according to Fuzi, in Indonesia, she’d have to furnish them with a legal sijil nikah for Iwan to get that ID card. With him being born out of wedlock, someone will have to legally adopt the child first. Fuzi had been trying to apply for PR status so that Iwan can go to school in Malaysia, but to date, all her applications were rejected. But she was told she’d stand a good chance when her eldest daughter turns 21 so the daughter can be the “guarantor” for Fuzi’s application.
The family used to get monthly welfare aid. Fuzi personally doesn’t qualify as she’s not a Malaysian citizen, but her 4 children qualify. However the assistance was given under the name of the children’s uncle, who used to stay nearby. Now that the uncle has moved elsewhere, they are no longer getting the monthly welfare aid. Fuzi’s only source of income for the moment (other than education sponsorship the children are getting from us) is a fixed monthly amount banked in by a generous blog reader.
As for her children, other than the youngest who can’t go to school because of the uncertainty of his citizenship status, the other 4 were/are all covered by our sponsorship program. The eldest is already doing a degree course at a local university. A very responsible girl, from time to time, she gives a small amount of her scholarship money to her mother.
Fuzi’s 2nd, also a daughter, is now in form 6. Despite not doing too well in her studies previously, she did considerably okay in her SPM but failed her English. Seeing her older sister doing quite well, she too seems to be more motivated to do well in her studies. According to Fuzi, the girl has improved in her studies, including her English.
The problem is with Fuzi’s 3rd child, her first son. The boy always ended up in some sort of trouble in school. Fuzi tried to transfer him to another school. After his PMR in which he didn’t do too well, Fuzi enrolled him in a vocational school where he had to stay at the school hostel. The boy ended up running away from school. In the end he just decided to drop out of school. I had no chance to talk to him as he was never home when I went to visit. Furthermore, since last year he has been staying at a friend’s house. I suggested to Fuzi to enrol him in a short vocational course somewhere like Giat Mara, but according to Fuzi, it is very difficult to get him to agree. The boy, now 17, is currently working at a factory. When he gets his monthly pay, he spends his whole salary for himself and his friends. Not a single sen has been given to his mother. As a matter of fact, sometimes when he ran out of money, he’d ask his mother for some cash. But his 2 sisters always scolded him and wouldn’t let their mother give him any cash.
Fuzi’s 4th, the HIV+ boy, is now in form one and had always been an average student. He has however, showed some improvement in his studies after he joined his siblings in teaching their youngest brother who doesn’t have the opportunity to go to school. Teaching his brother turned out to be good for him too.
The youngest boy may not be able to go school yet even though he is already 9 this year, but his older siblings do teach him whatever they can at home. And in the afternoon, he goes to a Sekolah Agama Rakyat nearby. In other words, his mother and siblings are making sure the boy doesn’t simply waste his time at home.
So despite everything the family has to go through, they are coping quite well under the circumstances. There are still problems that need to be resolved, but hopefully, with their perseverance, things will eventually end up well.