In late October, a homeless father went viral after Malaysians learned that he moved from Johor to Seri Kembangan, Selangor to sell yau char kwai to make ends meet
The story resonated well with many netizens as they admired the father's hardworking spirit. Rather than asking for handouts, he asked the public to help support his yau char kwai business at Restoran Peng Chu on Jalan SP 2/3, Taman Serdang Perdana.
"Don't give me money, as long as you support my business and give your feedback is enough!" he said back in June.
The father is the sole caretaker of his two daughters. They moved to Selangor from Johor in the hopes of making more money to rent a place to stay.
After two months of constant working, the father started to develop breathing difficulties and he now needs the public's help to pay for his medical bill
In the Caremongering Malaysia Facebook group, Joe Yap shared yesterday, 17 December, that she sent the homeless father to the hospital after learning that he was having trouble breathing.
"I guess many of you have heard of the story of this guy who sells yau char kwai at Seri Kembangan with two young girls," Yap wrote.
"This man's name is Joni Saragih. He is now having breathing difficulties and I just sent him to Serdang Hospital. He is now in the accident & emergency's (A&E) red zone."
Yap said that Joni now needs help to pay for the deposit at the hospital, as well as the total medical bill.
"I hope there [are] kind people out there who [are] willing to help him," she said.
Speaking to SAYS, Yap contended that Joni's breathing difficulties may stem from long hours of frying yau char kwai where he is susceptible to "breathing in the oil"
"Now, he can't even fry them. Breathing in the oil made his lungs even worse," she told SAYS in a message.
"He practically doesn't have income due to his health condition."
Yap said she decided to help the father after learning from viral WhatsApp messages that he was not feeling well and needed medical attention.
According to her, non-governmental organisation Junior Chamber International (JCI) Malaysia took him to get a thorough medical check-up last month.
So far, Yap managed to gather RM2,800 — just enough to cover Joni's hospital deposit payment
However, it is uncertain if the total bill will surpass the deposit amount.
As of 11.30pm last night, Yap said a Good Samaritan brought Joni food when they visited him at the hospital.
Doctors told them that Joni's lungs are filled with fluid and he is also suffering from heart complications. He has to be hospitalised for further observation.
Meanwhile, SAYS managed to talk to Joni over a phone call this morning, 18 December.
Speaking in a mix of Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia, he said he was "okay now", but was hungry as he had not eaten all day.
If you wish to help Joni, you can reach out to Yap via WhatsApp at +6013-2839088.
She said she is in the middle of finding a non-governmental organisation to handle the donations. When she finds one, she will direct the donors to the right channel.
Joni used to sell yau char kwai, five-spice doughnuts, and red bean paste doughnuts for RM1 each. Read about his journey here: