It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have caused hardship to many, but it has left some people in absolutely dire straits.

Among them are couple P Sivagamyselvam and J Rajakumari, who were recently noticed by the authorities, spending more than a week in their car parked at a petrol station in Kampar, after being let go from their jobs as car wash attendants in Singapore.

The 45-year-olds, who have no children, had worked there for eight years, but were let go last July during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), reported Bernama.

After losing their jobs, the couple returned to Rajakumari's hometown in Kampar, only to realise that her father's house in Kampung Baharin Pinji was in an extremely dilapitated and uninhabitable condition. They then rented a place until their reserves ran out, after which their trusty old Proton Iswara became their source of shelter.

"We lost our means, we didn't know where to go, so we decided to live in the car. We parked the Iswara at a petrol station in Bandar Baru Kampar so we can use the toilet there to shower and clean ourselves.

"We could not afford to find a rental house, let alone a hotel, so we braved through, eating and sleeping in the car," Rajakumari was quoted telling reporters, according to Sinar Harian.

To make matters worse, Rajakumari is wheelchair-bound due to chronic diabetes, but despite the discomfort, they had no other choice as they had no other relatives.

However, all's well ends well for the couple after their plight was noticed by Tualang Sekah state assemblywoman Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi, who has now embarked on a mission to rebuild Rajakumari's father's house, into a two-room house.

The house, costing about RM20,000, utilizes firemen as the manpower, and is expected to be completed before Deepavali in November.

Pending the completion of the house, the couple are placed in a rental house for RM300 a month, funded by MIC.

Source: Bernama, Sinar Harian
Photo source: Says, Utusan