Chinese Malaysian Man Raises 3 Malay Boys As His Own Children For The Past 16 Years

The man's mother also treated the boys like her grandchildren.

Cover image via Harian Metro (YouTube) & Effendy Rashid/Harian Metro

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Meet Michael Tong Wai Siong, a 55-year-old man who has raised three Malay boys as his own children for the past 16 years

Tong's story was featured on the front page of Harian Metro today, 24 May.

In an interview with the Malay daily, Tong, affectionately known as Uncle Mike, shared how he encountered an orphan boy 16 years ago and took it upon himself to raise him and his two siblings, driven by his desire to provide them with a better life.

He recounted that as an active car club member, he frequently participated in charity events with fellow members. It was during one of these events that he met 12-year-old Rafei Ahmad Fauzi at an orphanage in Gombak, Selangor.

Tong, who was unmarried, said Rafei's parents died one month apart from each other in the same year.

The orphanage told him that Rafei did not want to go to school. To resolve this, Tong met Rafei's teachers and discovered that the boy had learning difficulties.

"Therefore, I decided to pick him up every morning and send him to school. After work, my employees picked him up and sent him to the tuition centre before I sent him back to the orphanage dormitory.

"The [constant commuting back and forth] continued for quite some time before it was suggested that Rafei live with me to make it easier for me. [Rafei] also agreed to live with me," he related.

From left to right: Refei, Rasyid, Tong, Rayyan Aisy (Refei's son), and Abdul Rahman.

Image via Effendy Rashid/Harian Metro

While Rafei was under his care one day, Tong noticed a note written by the boy.

In it, Rafei expressed how he missed his brothers, who had been separated from him and sent to an orphanage in Klang, Selangor.

"Until today, I still remember the note he wrote asking why his mother died early and why he was separated from his brothers. It brought tears to my eyes, prompting me to take him to meet his two siblings," said Tong.

"Shortly after that, I brought Rasyid and Abdul Rahman home to live with us.

"Since then I have been 'father' and 'mother' to them. Until now, we are still together," he said in the sit-down interview.

Tong admitted he was afraid about caring for three children initially, but with encouragement and assistance from his friends, he managed to overcome his fears.

His family fully supported his decision, with his 86-year-old mother, Oh Siew Eng, treating the boys like her grandchildren.

"I know we have different religions but I want them to continue their religious education. So, I asked an ustaz to homeschool them every night," he shared.

Image via Harian Metro

Today, Rafei, Rasyid, and Abdul Rahman are 29, 28, and 24 years old, respectively

Rafei now has two children of his own.

Tong, who is still unmarried, said he never felt that his life was lonely after adopting the three boys, especially now that he has two grandchildren.

He said he is content with life and appreciated the public's praise after his story was published on Harian Metro.

Tong hopes their story demonstrates how helping others should transcend the boundaries of race and religion, especially when one has the means to improve the lives of others.

"I am not the first person to offer help like this. Malays also assist the Chinese, Indians, and people of other races, and vice versa. This is evidence that we live in harmony despite a few individuals who play on racial issues," he said when contacted after his story went viral.

To read the Tong's full story and watch the complete interview, visit Harian Metro.

From left to right: Rasyid, Rayyan Aisy (Refei's son), Tong, Refei, and Abdul Rahman.

Image via Effendy Rashid/Harian Metro

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