Retired Teacher Who Collected Trash For 10 Years To Receive Counselling

Residents complained of a foul stench in the neighbourhood, especially during rainy days.

Cover image via Sharul Hafiz Zam/New Straits Times & Aki Amin (Facebook)

The Perak Welfare Department has taken notice of a retired teacher who has been collecting trash and promised that they will be providing her all the necessary assistance

The 63-year-old woman, named Chung Sook Khuan, has been living in a garbage-strewn house, located in Simpang Pulai, Perak for the past 10 years.

According to a New Straits Times report published on 6 October, one of Chung's neighbours had in the past politely asked her to clear out the trash, but the advice fall on deaf ears and led to the former scolding her.

"The stench is so strong and I can't afford to open the windows and door at my home," complained the neighbour, Agnes Kam, adding, "The woman loves to collect rubbish and sometimes, she needs to climb over the rubbish to enter her home."

"We are afraid for our safety because there could be snakes there, or perhaps mosquito breeding grounds," she added.

Kam said her family has to bear with the foul stench every day, with the condition getting worse whenever it rains.

Meanwhile, another neighbour, Mohd Hanifah Pareeth, said he had the same complaints as Kam and lodged a police report.

Image via Sinar Harian

Following the news report, the state authorities visited Chung to check on her wellbeing as well as her living condition

State Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM) Committee chairman Datuk Dr Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin told reporters that the authorities will be evaluating Chung's mental health prior to providing her counselling sessions.

"We will also call up her husband and three children to assist us in this issue," she said, reported New Straits Times.

"I convinced her that she needs to dump the rubbish at the designated places and not at her home as it can be harmful to the neighbours here."

She added that the Ipoh City Council (MBI) will be coming over to collect the trash, before assuring that the state government will assist her in every way so that she will have a better living condition.

During the visit, Wan Norashikin noted that the trash piled up to 1.5m high at the premise and it raises concerns that it could be a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes, reported Bernama.

Left to right: KPWKM Committee chairman Datuk Dr Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin and retired teacher Chung Sook Khuan.

Image via New Straits Times

Chung reportedly has been living alone for the past few years, with her children only coming over to send her food every once in a while

"I have a daughter and two sons, all in theirs 30s, but they do not want to stay with me because they don't share my interests," Chung told Bernama.

If Chung continues with her hoarding habit, Wan Norashikin cautioned that she could face legal action.

The Perak KPWKM chief said the last resort is to send Chung to an old folks home because she does not want to stay with her family members.

Image via Sinar Harian

Last month, three sisters received help from local authorities it was learned that they had been living in a garbage-strewn shophouse:

The father gave up custody of his children in the end as he is not financially capable of providing his children with their daily needs:

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