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Former paralympic athlete calls for respect, space to earn living

Last Update: 13/10/2019

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 13  -- A former national paralympic swimmer has called on the public to respect her current situation and give her the opportunity to be independent in her search for sustenance.

Koh Lee Peng, 46, said she was often harassed and accused of being a foreigner who tried to seek charity here.

Koh began petty trading on her wheelchair five months ago, selling drinks, face towels and more in front of Maybank Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam.

"I am an adult, I need to be self-sufficient. Sometimes my heart aches. Malaysians themselves accuse me of being a foreigner from Indonesia, the Philippines, and so on," Koh told reporters here today.

Koh added that her identity card had once also been snatched by an unidentified individual, but she was unable to stop the person from getting away.

Koh, who has Cerebral Palsy (CP), said she earns about RM 800 a month from her sales. She also receives a monthly grant of RM300 from the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb).

Koh won seven gold and three silver medals while representing the country from 2001-2005.

Meanwhile, former national football athlete V. Krishnasamy, 71, will receive an artificial leg worth RM10,000 after undergoing amputation due to diabetes. He had also received various financial and medical assistance from the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) through Yakeb previously.

His son, K. Thanaselan, 43, today called on all parties, especially netizens, to stop speculating about his father's situation as claimed on social media.

A story that went viral on social media recently claimed that the veteran athlete had been neglected by his family members and the Youth and Sports Ministry.

"The real situation is that he (Krishnasamy) has to stay here (at the nursing home) so he can be better taken care of. My mother who is also sick, is now being taken care of by my sister ... If everyone (at home) goes to work, who will take care of father?" said Thanaselan .

Koh, Krishnasamy, and other veteran athletes received assistance from KBS through Yakeb in a ceremony attended by Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim at Jade Home in Gelugor, here.




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