Penang dishwasher and son touched by donors’ generosity

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GEORGE TOWN: Hundreds of people have rushed to help a dishwasher and her invalid son after reading of their plight in an article FMT published two days ago.


K Selvarani, 57, and Emmanuel Joseph John, 28, say they are in shock over the “love and blessings” they have received from Malaysians.

Emmanuel was in unfamiliar territory when he went to check his bank balance at an ATM yesterday. He struggled to hold back his tears as he took a long look at the balance of RM9,327.54 registered on the mini statement he printed.

“I had only a balance of RM5 before this,” he told the FMT reporter who accompanied him.

“The most I had seen in my account before this was RM1,200.” That was the amount he once made as a security guard. It was his monthly salary plus overtime.

The biggest donor was property tycoon Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, whose assistant messaged Emmanuel to tell him he had banked in RM5,000.

Selvarani lost her job as a daily-paid dishwasher at a food court two weeks ago after she fainted in a spell of vertigo. Her employer did not take her back after her treatment. He feared that she might have contracted Covid-19.

Emmanuel left his security guard job when his employer failed to pay his salary.

They now reside at the back of a barbershop in Jelutong.


Selvarani, whose hearing is poor and who is nearly mute, showed her gratitude with a slight smile and teary eyes as she pointed to the bags of food and other goods that people from all walks of life had given them in the past 48 hours.

Emmanuel said they also received cash donations of close to RM1,000 from well-wishers.

A representative from St Nicholas Home for the Blind dropped by to hand him a walking cane. An accident eight years ago has made him blind in one eye.

Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong donated RM500. He said he would help them apply for welfare aid immediately. He told them to change their MyKad address from Port Dickson to Penang to give them eligibility for state aid and public housing.

Emmanuel said his mother had started cooking after a stranger bought a stove and cooking gas for them.

He said he would take her to a hospital to get her vertigo problem treated.

He also said they were waiting to move out from their room now that a woman had promised to get them a different place to stay for the time being.

“Thank you to all who have helped us,” he said. “My mother and I are so happy.”

Those wishing to help Selvarani and Emmanuel can send a WhatsApp message to FMT’s Helpline at 019-3899839. – FMT

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