During MCO in Lawas Sarawak last year Agnes received a called seeking help from En Mopin Mardi family. This is a story about En Mopin Mardi neglected and was suffering in silence. Former fisherman En Mopin Mardi lies helplessly on a mat in his house as he listens to friends starting their boats to go out for another day’s catch. A year ago, he was among them. But that was before he broke his neck and injured his spine in a fall from a friend’s verandah.
His house is located in Kampung Tanjung Bakong, outside the town of Sundar, about 30km from Lawas. About 20m from the house is the bank of the river he used to fish in. Money has also become a problem for him and his family. Before his paralysis, he could earn RM50 to RM60 a day. Now he is totally dependent on his wife. He and his wife, 29-year-old Sahnilam Sahari, have an adopted daughter aged 13.
Mopin’s wife used to sell ice-cream for some side income, earning less than RM5 a day. But she can no longer do so as she has to take care of Mopin at home. He has yet to receive assistance from the welfare department and has been depending on his savings, part of which is money his late mother left for him.
Mopin’s siblings and an in-law who works in Johor Bahru help his family from time to time, but Mopin feel embarrassed about it and it’s barely enough for his family. He was grateful for some financial aid provided by the state and federal governments to help him get through the Covid-19 crisis as well as for food aid from rural health activist Agnes Padan.
But financial constraints have caused him to miss his follow-up appointments with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu. The return trip costs about RM500. He was glad the doctors at Queen Elizabeth had agreed to transfer his case to the health clinic in Sundar. The medical staff will come to his house every two weeks to change his urine bag. Unfortunately, the clinic does not have colostomy bags. Myopin’s wife has to buy one every time from a pharmacy. It’s quite expensive, about RM130. We highlighted Mopin’s story in the press.
Agnes Padan contacted JKM Lawas for help and JKM Lawas visited En Mopin and provided some assistance.