| Faza Suraj |
TEN officials from the Department of Community Development of the Belait District recently rolled their sleeves up to assist in a clean-up at the home of Muhammad Izwan, who lives at the Kg Panaga National Housing Scheme in Jalan Teripas.
Muhammad Izwan bin Abdullah, 25, fell ill after having caught Japanese Encephalitis (JE), rendering him unable to move his legs and facing difficulty in speaking.
He is currently living with his wife, Siti Norjanah binti Tahir, 19, at a house belonging to his mother-in-law, who lives in Sabah.
Siti Norjanah told the Bulletin that her husband was known to have contracted the illness in November 2013.
He had been taken to hospital due to a fever, but was told it was the regular flu.
“When we came back from the hospital, my husband was shivering. He fainted soon after. We brought him back to the hospital and he was admitted for about six months,” she explained.
Since then, the couple has received assistance from the Suri Seri Begawan Hospital in the form of monthly food supply. The company where Muhammad Izwan had worked at only provided him with three months’ salary.
Siti Norjanah, who is an unemployed Malaysian citizen, has had to sell the family car and other belongings to make ends meet.
“With the help of a servant of Allah, I was brought to seek help from JAPEM last year, and Alhamdulillah, my husband will start receiving the Pension Allowance for the Disabled starting this month,” she said.
News of the duo’s plight had spread through social media recently, resulting in kind-hearted individuals and organisations, both private and government, stepping forward to lend a helping hand and in providing contributions.
The couple also faces transportation difficulties to attend physiotherapy treatment.
JAPEM Belait Senior Pension Officer Roslan bin Haji Ali informed the Bulletin that the couple had been identified to have applied for the Pension Allowance for the Disabled and that their application had been approved. However, the arrears payment, to the tune of $17,000, will begin in October, upon confirmation of his condition by a health official.