Mon, Oct 25, 2010
New Straits Times
A home awaits family living under bridge

KUALA LUMPUR- The Umno Youth complaints bureau yesterday came to the rescue of a homeless couple and their baby, who have been squatting under a bridge for five months.

Hazmain Abdul Jalil, 28, and his wife, Siti Faizah Abu Bakar, 27, and their year-old daughter, Siti Norafidah, will now have a proper place to live.

The bureau's chairman, Datuk Muhd Khairun Aseh, who acted after reading about the couple's plight in the press, said a "Datuk Seri", who declined to be named, had allowed them to stay in a flat he owned in Kajang Utama.

The couple sought shelter in the cave-like enclosure along the East-West Link in Cheras earlier this year when they were evicted from their home in Sungai Besi.

The spot was well hidden below a flyover and above a large monsoon drain.

It is understood that the couple had been fending off vagrants and drug addicts over the months.

The couple shared the enclosure with two other people -- Chan Che Wah, 44, and Hafiz Abdul Aziz, 30, -- who worked together collecting and selling scrap metal.

The two kept a watchful eye over baby Siti Norafidah and Siti Faizah last week when Hazmain was in detention.

Hazmain did not show up for work last Sunday as he was detained by police on suspicion of stealing construction equipment.

He was released from the lock-up days later, following the court's decision to acquit him of the charge.

"I could not return to work after not showing up for three days," Hazmain said.

He added that he did not expect media attention when he gave the bridge as his residential address while facing trial.

Khairun said his bureau would make sure that the victims were given housing and employment assistance by the government.

"We will send all four adults for a thorough medical check-up," he said, adding that urgent attention was needed for Siti Norafidah, who suffered from epilepsy.


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