Perak state authorities have found a husband and wife who have been living in their car in Kampar for a week after losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic
According to Bernama, the married couple, P Sivagamyselvan and J Rajakumari, who are both 45 years old and have no children, worked as car wash attendants for eight years in Johor Bahru until they were let go in July this year during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
They decided to return to Rajakumari's hometown in Kampar but had not realised that her late father's house in Jalan Temoh, Kampung Baharin Pinji was in such a rundown and uninhabitable condition.
The couple rented a place until their finances recently ran out.
With no where else to go, they stayed and slept in their Proton Saga Iswara that was parked at a petrol station
"We lost our sources of income and we didn't know where to go, so we made the decision to live in our car," Rajakumari said, as quoted by Sinar Harian.
"We parked our Proton Iswara at a petrol station in Bandar Baru Kampar so we could use the bathroom there to shower and clean ourselves."
She added that it was difficult and uncomfortable living in the car as she is suffering from chronic diabetes, which has left her wheelchair-bound, but they had no other choice as they have no other relatives.
They had been sleeping in the car for almost a week when state authorities found them and gave them the help they needed
The couple is currently receiving help from a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Bomba), and the office of Tualang Sekah state assemblywoman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi.
"[They] are rebuilding my late father's house. I am overjoyed and so grateful to all of them," Rajakumari told reporters during Datuk Nolee Ashilin's visit to the couple's house that is now under construction on Monday, 19 October.
Datuk Nolee Ashilin, who is also the Perak Housing, Local Government, and Tourism Committee chairman said a two-bedroom house is being built for the couple
"It's a corporate social responsibility to help the poor by providing them with a comfortable home so that they can live a better life," she said, adding that the building material will only cost about RM20,000 and the Bomba will contribute manpower.
Perak Bomba director, Azmi Osman, said 32 Bomba personnel have been assigned to build the house, which is expected to be ready before Deepavali in November.
"We want the couple to celebrate Deepavali with joy, as well as give them a fresh start," he said.
Malaysia's unemployment rate is expected to rise further this year due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: