IPOH, June 18 — The Perak state government is discussing a long-term solution to help athletes that are in need of financial assistance after the case of physically-challenged state Boccia athlete Fua Chee Keong made national headlines.
State Character Development, Women and Family Development and Social Welfare committee chairman Wong May Ing said she was hashing out the issue with Youth and Sports committee chairman Howard Lee Chuan How to come up with a long-term solution to help other athletes like Fua in Perak.
“This cannot be done on a case-by-case basis. We want to set up machinery that can help Fua and other athletes like him on a long-term basis,” Wong said when contacted by Malay Mail today.
Wong said she had brought up Fua’s case in the state assembly before, as Fua had not received any special contributions or allocations from the state even after winning a bronze medal in the 2017 Asean Para Games last September.
Wong added that she even launched a fund-raising drive to finance equipment for Fua’s Boccia career. However, the drive did not go as well as she hoped.
“The response wasn’t that good. We only raised around RM 2,000 in six months. But now, we really want to help Fua and other athletes like him.”
Fua, who won bronze at the 9th Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur last September, is now struggling to make ends meet.
Living with his single mother in Kampung Ujong Pasir, Pantai Remis, the 22-year-old Fua earns around RM80 per month by providing mobile phone top-up service.
Physically and mentally challenged since birth, Fua uses his nose and chin to top up his customers’ accounts on a mobile phone.
His mother Goh Hing Kee asked the government to help her son, as his sports equipment cost around RM10,000.
The sport of Boccia requires a specialised wheelchair, a set of Boccia balls and an assistive device, which is used as a ramp to deliver the ball.
Howard said he had previously called for the creation of a ‘Carers’ Aid’ which would be an institutionalised welfare provision of financial aid.
He said many carers juggle their responsibilities with work, study, and other commitments, and had to play a vast range of roles.
This included helping those under their care with everyday tasks, personal care, transportation, and emotional support.
“Perhaps a one-off windfall aid for qualified carers can be offered, as this will attract more applicants of the ‘carer’ status,” he explained.
“After that, a budgetary allocation for carers within the welfare system can be institutionalised and legislation could be drawn up to protect carers’ interests.
“Carers must not be left behind or forgotten. They must be acknowledged, assisted and rescued from despair and impending poverty, because it is only the humane and right thing to do – malaymail